On June 6, Sunshine Coast Junior Hockey Society's director of operation Rick Hopper confirmed that a June 4 bid for a Gibsons-based Pacific Coast Junior Hockey League franchise by that organization and Coastal Sport and Entertainment Group was presented at a league meeting. But, he said that's all the information he is allowed to disclose pending an announcement from the league.
In response to email questions from Coast Reporter about that presentation, any league decision or timelines for information updates, commissioner of the league Trevor Alto wrote "Nothing to report. Once there is we will let you know".
On May 25, the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) board endorsed several recommendations related to the bid to make the Gibsons and Area Community Centre home to that potential Junior B hockey franchise. Those included authorizing staff to continue to work on the legal requirements related to use of that regionally owned facility, including a five-year agreement with the Coastal Sports and Entertainment Group that includes priority ice allocations. A new Junior ice rental rate is to be established at $120 per hour for the first season, with an annual increase of up to five per cent in each subsequent season.
At that meeting, Gibsons area director Silas White made reference to an email received on May 24 from the society that questioned how SCRD staff came to the recommended amount for the new ice rental rate.
General manager of community services, Shelley Gagnon outlined that 23 communities in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island were contacted about the rates charged to similar hockey franchises. The rates reported ranged from $73 to $175 per hour and it was noted that some communities charged different rates for games and practices. "What we provided was a recommended blended rate," Gagnon told the board.
Stating that she was not comfortable with "changing rates on the fly" Area E director Donna McMahon said she was "happy going forward with the recommendation from staff knowing we are in the low to middle range of the pack when it comes to rates."