Bay Arena putting halt to hospitality rooms
Changes are coming to the Bay Arena’s policy on hospitality rooms.
The Bay Roberts stadium is cutting out the popular minor hockey tradition starting next season. That means minor hockey teams hosting tournaments at the arena will not be able to offer visiting teams the luxury of sweets or sandwiches.
The warm room will be there, but the selection of delectable treats will be absent from the region.
That’s not too say it will be cut out for everything. Bay Arena executive board chairman Ed Neil said a hospitality room will be available for provincial tournaments and other similar functions like Atlantics.
“We haven’t cut out hospitality. For all major tournaments we provide hospitality,” said Neil. “We don’t do it for every tournament because it affects the sales in our canteen horrifically. We are a private group and we have to try and make a dollar where we can.”
According to Neil, the stadium loses between 30 and 40 per cent of its business on weekends when there are hospitality rooms. That money is used for supplies, paying for repairs and other business at the Bay Arena.
The Wesley Gosse Memorial Bay Room will still be there for families and players who want a place to escape the cold of the rink while enjoying a cup of tea or coffee.
This isn’t the first time the Bay Arena has attempted to scale back the usage of the hospitality room. In the past, they’ve tried to cut down on the usage, but teams continued using it.
“After this year, the board wrote a letter to the groups,” said stadium manager Norm Hill. “We’ve been down there before and people took advantage. This is the easiest way.”
The move is not unprecedented. Hill mentioned that rinks like the PARC Unity Arena in Placentia and the Trinity-Placentia Stadium in Whitbourne do not currently have hospitality rooms, while the Jack Byrne Arena in Torbey has very little in the way of a hospitality room.
“Some towns go all out, but a lot of them do not have it,” said Hill.
For the Bay Arena, it is about being able to afford the upkeep of a 30-year-old facility that is quickly starting to show its age.
The concrete floor needs to be replaced, which could cost thou- sands, and there are other parts of the rink that need replacing. Other unexpected costs arise from time to time.
“People get a great charge if they break the glass,” said Hill. “One of those glass is going to cost the stadium $1,000. That’s the things people don’t realize.
“We try to run (the stadium) like a business to at least break even. If we get a profit, that’s a bonus.”
We don’t do it for every tournament because it affects the sales in our canteen horrifically.
Bay Arena executive chairman Ed Neil