Royals Headed out of Corner Brook?By
The question on everyone’s mind this morning is simple. Is the Corner Brook Royals leaving the city to play elsewhere? Royals President Ross Coates has indicated fan attendance is not what he wants and has made it clear the hockey fans in Corner Brook has to make a decision about the future of hockey in the city.
In an unprecedented move, both the Corner Brook Royals and the Deer Lake Red Wings put an end to the CFCB radio broadcasts in an attempt to put more bums in the seats at both the Pepsi Centre and the Hodder Memorial Arena. What is even more drastic is the rumour floating around that should the attendance be poor for the Royals latest home games, the team would finish the season at other arenas – namely Stephenville and Gander.
Sources close to Royals President have indicated the Royals will be heading to Stephenville for their series against the Clarenville Caribous the weekend January 15-16.
Fan support has been anything but stellar this season as the Corner Brook Royals rebuild their team. Fans are growing impatient with many of the highly praised talent such as Morgan Warren and Mark Tobin to begin producing and are calling on the team’s executive to either send these players packing or bench them.
Ross Coates understands the frustrations that fans are feeling. In a recent interview on CBC Radio, Coates has indicated he is not pleased with the teams performance.
Newfoundland Hockey Talk has to give credit, Mr. Coates and his organization has provided every opportunity to put a winning team on the ice. They have attracted key players such as Donnie Gosse and the highly touted Mark Tobin, hoping this players could spark the likes of Morgan Warren, Scott Doody and Andrew White into having banner seasons. On paper, the team has a defensive squad second to none. Up front, they have as much fire power as anyone in the league.
Hockey isn’t played on paper. It’s played on the ice. This edition of the Corner Brook Royals has not met expectations of Coates or his executive team. It has also not lived up to the expectations of the fans. Right now, the Corner Brook Royals are sitting in the basement and losing both fan and community support after dropping their latest series at home against the Cataracts and stopping the radio broadcasts.
Sources have indicated “there will be definite lineup changes next weekend” and with the deadline looming for protecting players, it will be interesting to see what the Corner Brook Royals does with some of its underachievers.
One thing is clear. After this weekend with only a little over 1000 fans on Saturday and 500 fans on Sunday, there is no way the Corner Brook Royals can continue to bleed money. It doesn’t make business sense and moving the team to a smaller, more fan friendly venue is definitely an understandable business move.
With Coates and his group working diligently behind the scenes to ice a quality product, to see the lack of fan support is terrible. Corner Brook has a long standing history of supporting winners and being finicky about the events they attend. Is it that hockey has just fallen out of favour with the community or is it something else? Coates and his team deserves credit for trying to keep hockey here in the city. They definitely deserve better support than they are getting and if it takes moving the team to have them survive then that’s what it takes!
Places such as Stephenville, Gander and Port Aux Basques are foaming at the opportunity to have a team and a businessman such as Mr. Coates bring hockey back to those areas.
Are the Royals headed out of Corner Brook? Stay tuned – things are always interesting around the West Coast Senior Hockey League.
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