CeeBees face un­cer­tain fu­ture

Blend It, Robin’s Donuts likely to take hit dur­ing hockey sea­son

The Compass - - Front page - BY CHRIS LEWIS chris.lewis@cb­n­com­pass.ca

The Har­bour Grace Ocean En­ter­prises CeeBee Stars will not get to de­fend their Herder Me­mo­rial ti­tle in 2018, based on a re­cent de­ci­sion from Hock­ley New­found­land and Labrador about the sta­tus of the Avalon East Se­nior Hockey League. The de­ci­sion will leave a hole in the sched­ule for sev­eral Fri­day and Satur­day nights at the Danny Cleary Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

Busi­nesses at the Danny Cleary Har­bour Grace Com­mu­nity Cen­tre may take a hit in rev­enue this sea­son.

With a re­cent news that the Har­bour Grace Ocean En­ter­prises CeeBee Stars won’t be play­ing this sea­son, sta­dium man­ager Cory Do­hey says two busi­nesses within the fa­cil­ity – Robin’s Donuts and Blend It Smoothie Bar – are go­ing to see a sig­nif­i­cant de­cline in busi­ness this win­ter.

Late last month, Hockey New­found­land and Labrador ruled the Avalon East Se­nior Hockey League – which would have fea­tured CeeBee Stars and teams from Mount Pearl and Par­adise – a se­nior B op­er­a­tion. Upon hear­ing this news, Mount Pearl and Par­adise backed out of the league.

That rul­ing made the Stars in­el­i­gi­ble to play for the Herder, which the team won in the 2016-2017 sea­son.

With a strong, sup­port­ive fan base in the Har­bour Grace re­gion, Do­hey, who has been sta­dium man­ager since March, noted the Stars bring hun­dreds of peo­ple to the sta­dium for home games.

That, in turn, re­sulted in boom­ing busi­ness for Robin’s Donuts and Blend It.

With the Stars not re­turn­ing for the 2017-2018 sea­son, Do­hey fears the two busi­nesses won’t see as much suc­cess dur­ing that pe­riod.

“I mean, peo­ple in the area loved com­ing up to the sta­dium to watch the CeeBees play,” said Do­hey. “Of course that’s go­ing to be re­ally great for (the busi­nesses). This year, since that’s not hap­pen­ing, I think they’re go­ing to take a big hit in that re­gard, for sure. They’ll be miss­ing out on the busi­ness from the Satur­day night games, as well as the 600 to 700 peo­ple who would use it as a night out.”

The sta­dium it­self will also take a hit to its rev­enue as well, though Do­hey be­lieves it wouldn’t be as sig­nif­i­cant as it may be for busi­nesses within the fa­cil­ity.

De­spite the lack of a home team pres­ence, the sta­dium will still be able to rent out its ice and host mi­nor hockey games, which still brings in a de­cent amount of rev­enue for the fa­cil­ity, ex­plained Do­hey.

“We’ll al­ways be able to rent out the ice, one way or an­other, so we won’t be with­out rev­enue. But there will def­i­nitely be some sig­nif­i­cant im­pacts on the com­mu­nity, as well as the busi­nesses within the build­ing.”

Mi­nor hockey, rec leagues, pri­vate hockey, func­tions and birth­day par­ties are good for the sta­dium it­self, “but not so much for Robin’s or Blend It,” said Do­hey.

“When you look at a mi­nor hockey all-star game or a AAA game, which will prob­a­bly have a cou­ple hun­dred peo­ple in at­ten­dance, ver­sus a CeeBees game, which usu­ally brings in six, seven, 800 peo­ple, the money just won’t be there to help (the two busi­nesses) off­set not hav­ing those big­ger games. I would say they’d feel a bit of that pinch, for sure.”

Do­hey said while the sta­dium isn’t go­ing to see as big of an im­pact, the neg­a­tive im­pact is still there nonethe­less. The sta­dium will lose out on rev­enue from box of­fice and bar sales from CeeBees games of past sea­sons.

“I mean, peo­ple are go­ing to miss it, for sure. It was a big thing for the com­mu­nity, to come up to the sta­dium and watch the game. Now that that’s not the case any­more, I think it’s go­ing to have an im­pact on a lot of things, this build­ing in­cluded.”

COM­PASS FILE PHOTO

There will be sev­eral Fri­day and Satur­day nights avail­able for ac­tion at the Danny Clear Com­mu­nity Cen­tre as a re­sult of the CeeBee Stars be­ing out of ac­tion this sea­son.

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