The British Columbia Hockey League has requested financial aid from province politicians, hoping to offset the substantial losses that’ve followed with the COVID-19 pandemic. The BCHL hasn’t been operational since March 13th, which is when officials were forced into the closure with social distancing measures being implemented across Canada. The unexpected termination of seasonal events came after the BCHL Championship completed its first round. The Hockey Canada Association demanded closures onto all provincial leagues, including the Ontario Hockey League. Shuts downs extend towards Spring & Winter Camps being terminated for 2020. This’ll prompt limited profits for the BCHL, which has already lost funds amidst minimal merchandise sales.
Chris Hebb, the British Columbia Hockey Leagues Commissioner, provided insight into their decision through formal statements with CTV News – Vancouver Edition. He mentioned that the 2021 BCHL Season is playable upon the approval of the Hockey Canada Association. Additional consent is also required from the BC Government. Chris Hebb noted that financial issues for these eighteen units are anticipated, with the possibility of another cancelled season possibly forcing these hockey teams to go bankrupt.
The Meeting & Possible Results
The Commissioner determined early on into the pandemic that a contingency fund was required to protect local teams. Hundreds of thousands are spent monthly to ensure that athletes have survival funds for necessities. Those finances will inevitably deplete, prompting Chris Hebb to seek support from British Columbia politicians. The Commissioner has requested a meeting, upon which he’ll inform these individuals of the social and cultural impact that closures have onto BC Communities. Chris Hebb will also tell them of the financial challenges this’ll bring to local hockey teams.
When speaking with CTV News – Vancouver Edition, the Commission mentioned that the fallout of this closure period would be more extensive than the shutdown itself. Getting civilians to return to local stadiums will be challenging, with Canadians concerned for their medical safety. Chris Hebb also noted that corporate sponsorships would be challenging to locate, with all industries trying to improve their conditions after the novel coronavirus. It should be mentioned that financial aid is almost guaranteed for the BCHL, with hockey being Canada’s national sport.