Money from the last Kraft Hockeyville competition will help pay for a new dressing room at the Comox Valley Sports Centre. As one of eight Hockeyville finalists, Courtenay earned $25,000 towards arena upgrades.
“It’s (dressing room) going to be out behind the visitor’s bench,” Comox Valley Glacier Kings owner Dave Webb said. “We’re going to change the visitor’s bench and the home bench. The home will become the visitors and the visitors will become the home. That’s the direction we’re going right now.”
Webb hopes to have the dressing room built during next season. The Hockeyville money will help offset costs of the project, which is budgeted at $100,000-plus.
“We’re going to try and get the community involved, after what happened to Humboldt and with the Winnipeg Jets. At the end of the day, the building will belong to the regional district. It will belong to all of us.”
Optimistically, Webb would like to see the room built by September, or possibly Christmas.
“We need this just to be competitive with recruiting enough players to come to the Comox Valley. The way it is now, we’re kind of lagging behind other communities in that department. If a Junior A team ever came here, which is a possibility, they would require a better dressing room setup than what we have.”
To Webb’s understanding, hockey brass would prefer a Junior A re-location as opposed to an expansion.
“On Vancouver Island we’re nine Junior B teams. Is there room for a 10th one? Probably, but it makes it hard on the recruiting. It’s been an ongoing discussion for the last number of years. This year we finally are getting our ducks in a row.”
Webb said the community has always been a candidate for a Junior A team.
“To be competitive in Junior A, they would love to see more than a 1,500-seat facility. But to expand our facility to that, it would be an expensive undertaking.”
The main arena at the Sports Centre can seat about 1,400 fans, he said, including standing room. Despite last season’s losing record, Webb said the Glacier Kings still attracted 250-300 fans per game. He said the break even point is 300-350 people per game.
The team will host an open house when the dressing room is completed.