The Green Bay Committee's letter to Ice president and general manager Matt Cockell:
During the spring of 2017, we were pleased to welcome you and Greg as the new owners of the Kootenay ICE, fully expecting that you planned on making Cranbrook and the Kootenays your home.
During Season 1, we enjoyed working with you as partners. Attached is an ICE article dated October 31, 2017 entitled, “ICE Partner with Green Bay Committee for Reachout and Support a School Programs”. The article states, in part, as follows:
“The Kootenay ICE are excited to announce a partnership with the Green Bay Committee whose focus is to create opportunities for students and adults who may not normally have the opportunity to attend ICE home games. The partnership reflects the collective will of a volunteer group that is aligned in both short and long-term goals with the ICE.”
We were also pleased that last year’s Season Ticket sales increased from about 1,300 to about 1,900. We understand that the Season Ticket sales for this year dropped to about 1,700. Therefore, in September, 2018, we started working with you to help increase attendance at ICE home games. On October 19, 2018, we finalized our new Reach Out Ticket Campaign, and we booked the Heritage Inn for a Town Hall Meeting on October 25 to launch the Campaign. We looked forward to your attendance at this meeting and your active engagement with our initiative.
On October 20, 2018, we became aware of the attached article in the Winnipeg Free Press that is entitled, “Winnipeg Could Ice Another Team - Kootenay’s WHL Squad May Be On Move.” This article states, in part, as follows:
“The Western Hockey League’s long-rumoured return to Winnipeg could be only months away from coming to fruition.
Owners of the WHL’s Kootenay Ice are believed to be considering a plan to move their franchise to Winnipeg in time for the start of the 2019-20 season, sources have told the Free Press.”
Obviously, we were greatly concerned about this article. We were hoping that you and Greg would deny this story and that you would remain actively engaged in our sales initiative.
On October 22, 2018, you advised us that you would not be attending our scheduled Town Hall Meeting. You further advised us that you and Greg would not be involved in our sales initiatives and that you would be monitoring the situation.
We were surprised and disappointed with your position; however, we decided to carry on with our Campaign and other initiatives to increase attendance. We expected that you and Greg would join us, especially given the fact that we were at an early stage in Season 2 of your new ownership. For the past month, there has been considerable engagement between our Committee and the community. Our overall strategy included the following:
a. Phase 1: Finding Sponsors to fund our Reach Out Ticket Campaign.
b. Phase 2: Creating a Steering Committee of relevant stakeholders, which will include representatives from the ICE, the City, the business community, and other relevant organizations. The mandate of the Steering Committee will include:
• Working with the ICE to distribute thousands of Reach Out tickets.
• Promoting and selling ICE tickets for the remainder of the 2018-2019 Season to individuals, families and businesses, with a focus on finding new ticket-holders.
• Planning the promotion and sales of Season Tickets for the 2019-2020 Season, with a focus on finding new season ticket-holders.
• Making the ICE a model WHL small market franchise.
We have made considerable progress in respect to Phase 1 and Phase 2. However, the absence of active engagement by you and Greg with our committee has become a major issue in our community. We believe that this failure has become the biggest obstacle in our ability to achieve a highly successful sales campaign and to create an effective steering committee. As a result, we are terminating our Green Bay Committee effective immediately. However, we will consider re-activating our committee if you provide us with a real commitment that you and Greg: are prepared to immediately join us and work with us, as partners; and have no plans to move “Our ICE” from Cranbrook.
Green Bay Committee: