A proposal by the Swift Current Broncos to fund 50 per cent of the cost of a new score clock at the Innovation Credit Union iPlex convinced the City of Swift Current to go ahead with the idea.
The proposal to purchase a new score clock was approved at a regular council meeting, April 22.
Some councillors indicated they were initially not in favour of the idea to replace the existing score clock, but they changed their minds after hearing more details about the proposed arrangement.
“I felt it was unnecessary until we had the discussion to find out what actually would be covered and where expenditures come from, and the fact that no tax dollars would be utilized was a telling point for me,” Councillor Chris Martens told the meeting. “It's looking at essentially paying for itself in a very short period of time. I am in support of it.”
His sentiment was shared by Councillor George Bowditch, who was also convinced after hearing the details of the arrangement between the City and the Broncos.
Councillor Pat Friesen felt the purchase arrangement for the new score clock will be a benefit to all parties and those who will be attending events at the iPlex.
“It's good for the City, very good for the Broncos to be able to enhance their fan experience, and also great for all the Broncos fans and anyone else that's spectating there at the iPlex,” she said. “So I'm pleased to see that we were able to collaborate with the Broncos on this and this is just an excellent project for us to move forward with.”
According to Tim Marcus, the City’s chief administrative officer, the offer from the Broncos to split the cost of a new score clock was a key factor. The replacement of the current score clock was not on the cards until the Broncos approached the City with the idea.
“We weren’t contemplating it,” he said after the meeting. “Our partners approached us and asked us if we would partner with them to go in on it. Otherwise we weren’t considering the change. It just became a very good opportunity with our partners offering to work with us on replacing the clock.”
The City purchased the current scoreboard with video capabilities in 2011. At that time the entire amount of $251,000 was paid by the City.
“Probably in another I would say five to seven years we would have been at the point where we would have had to do this on our own,” he said. “So this works out better for everyone all the way around in that it happens a lot earlier and it’s beneficial to both to the City and to our partners.”
The new score clock will be purchased from Display Development Group of Regina at a total cost of $286,809.50 (PST included, GST excluded). The City will contribute $145,000 towards the price, but it is anticipating that this funding share will not require the use of tax dollars.
A benefit of the earlier replacement of the score clock is that the City is expecting to sell the existing scoreboard to another facility at a price of about $50,000.
“The existing score clock still has some useful life in some smaller markets and we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to sell the clock to somebody who can make some use of it,” he said.
A portion of the annual naming rights funds will also be redirected towards the purchase of the new score clock.
“That’s what those dollars were intended when we signed the agreement to name the building the Innovation Credit Union iPlex, was that those funds would go towards upgrades,” he said.
IKS Media & Technology has made a proposal to take out a one-year advertisement of $5,000 and this revenue will be directed toward the City’s portion of the new clock’s purchase. The final aspect will be the anticipated saving of about $84,000 on the renewal of the agreement to host the CCA Finals Rodeo at the iPlex.
“We’ve been renting essentially what will be the new score clock and so we’ll save on the rental for those events, and that will help cover the cost,” Marcus explained.
The new score clock is expected to be installed for use when Swift Current hosts the Western Canada Summer Games in August, and thereafter it will be available for the start of the 2019-20 WHL season and for the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge games at the iPlex in November.
The new score clock will have four primary screens, and each screen will be 2.5 metres high and 3.5 metres wide. It will include the latest advancements in technology with increased definition from full colour LED display screens and capabilities to display real time data in a live production setting.
Nathan MacDonald, the Broncos director of business operations, told the Prairie Post the team is very excited about the benefits of the new score clock.
“We’re always looking at ways to improve and to give our fans the best experience possible,” he said during an interview on April 26. “With the score clock what we’re really excited about is that we can continue to improve on the fan experience. We can give fans in all of our seats a better viewing experience. We have a fairly unique rink, and so there are some places that sightlines aren’t as good as our better seats. This now gives them a really good option to view the play in a corner that they’re not able to see if they’re down right up against the glass.”
The increased definition of the new score clock will make it possible to add some engaging components on the video screen that was not practical before.
“We can do some really engaging components on our video screen that we could have done before, but it just wouldn’t have been worth it,” he said. “It wouldn’t have been clear enough, given the size and the quality of the former video screen. So we’re really excited about the cool exciting things that we can do with that new score clock and with that new technology that we’ll be implementing into that score clock.”
The Broncos considered the economics of the arrangement to split the cost of the new score clock with the City, and it made a lot of financial sense.
“By improving our delivery, we think that eventually we’ll be able to create higher and higher value in terms of our activation in our sponsorship relationship,” he said. “So from a value perspective there is that component, but it’s not all necessarily about financial gain with this one. It’s about reinvesting community support back into the community.”
For the Broncos the new score clock is a way of expressing the team’s gratitude towards fans for their support.
“We think that this is something that we can do for the Broncos fans,” MacDonald said. “Based on their support over the last few years and last year’s 2018 championship run the organization did quite well and this is a way to say to Broncos fans thank you for your support. Here’s something that we think you’ll really benefit from and you’ll really enjoy. So it’s just as much about reinvesting in the Broncos fans as it is a financial consideration for us.”