Wednesday, 12 April 2017 09:16

The good ‘ol hockey game means good ol' business for Broncos

Written by  Andrea Carol
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The Manager of Events and Sales, Carol Byers, stands proudly in front of the popular merchandise  in the Stable at the Credit Union i-plex.   The Manager of Events and Sales, Carol Byers, stands proudly in front of the popular merchandise in the Stable at the Credit Union i-plex. Andrea Carol

For many Canadians growing up, they’ve spent their winters visiting small town rink after small town rink with skates and sticks in hand. ‘Hockey Night in Canada’ could be heard over most home radios on Saturday nights across the nation.

If one says the name, Don Cherry, you all know who to is being referred. The tradition of the sport of hockey is part of our national identity. Canadians love hockey. And there is nothing like Canadian hockey. The game has evolved over the years into our national pride, uncompromising loyalty to hockey and good ‘ol fashioned Canadian fun.
For the local WHL hockey team, we are seeing that same national hockey spirit and passion in the hearts of the team and the fans.
The Swift Current Broncos have advanced to round two of the play-offs and got to a good start with a win over the top ranked team in the country the Regina Pats in the first game of round two and now up three games to one.
The play-off run has created a lot of local buzz and the economy will feel the impact of it.  
Assistant General Manager of Business Operations, Dianne Sletten grinned when she said, “We’ve got fans from all over Southwest Saskatchewan coming. Fans from the visiting teams come which creates that rivalry and excitement. Everybody is cheering. All in good fun. It creates a fun atmosphere. People are so excited for this team and the season that we’ve had. It’s been unbelievable”. She went on to say, “It’s not only an economic boost for us, it’s an economic boost for the entire community”.
Concession and merchandise sales have sky rocketed for the Swift Current Broncos. The team has seen a 30% increase in concession sales due to the play-offs; seven and a half cases of burgers, nine cases of hotdogs and more than 50lbs of popcorn in one game. Alcohol sales are up 25%.
“Because of the hype around the playoffs. People are coming in every day wanting to buy souvenirs. We’ve sold more jerseys than we’ve sold in a lot of years. We sold out of our hats earlier this season and we had to get a rush order in. Our t-shirts are going very well. If you come in [to] the store right now, you’ll see it looks kind of empty”, stated Dianne Sletten. “It’s a good thing for the Swift Current Broncos revenue and the esthetics of the arena. The fans are robed with Bronco pride in a sea of blue and green vibrating with anticipation and cheering our beloved Broncos on to victory.
Retail Services Manager, Tracy Prang pointed to her depleted inventory and said, “Today, I have sold two jerseys and probably 8 shirts already”.
The Bronco store has large gaps on the walls because of the demand for Bronco branded merchandise. If fans want to have a souvenir from this season, they should be heading down to the store straight away. “Playoffs are our gravy in concession and merchandise. Every area of our business sees increase”, said Dianne Sletten, "We’ve had lineups [at concession] but we’ve had absolutely no complaints as people are getting fresh food, they’re enjoying it and they’re having fun. 50/50’s have been $20,000 for all three of our play-off games. That’s unheard of. We don’t get that during a regular season game”.
Stephen Leacock said, “Hockey captures the essence of Canadian experience in the New World, in a land so inescapably and inhospitably cold, hockey is the chance of life, and an affirmation that despite the deathly chill of winter we are alive”.
To Swift Current (and Canadians everywhere), there is nothing like the “good ‘ol hockey game” and the Swift Current Broncos are sharing in the economic bliss.

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