The Swift Current Broncos held their Annual General Meeting at the InnovationPlex on Tuesday, September 26, recapping the 2022/2023 season.
Nine members currently sit on the Broncos board after three were re-elected on Wednesday, and Al Stewart did not renew his position on the Board. Stewart spent over 25 years on the Broncos Board of Directors, including 18 as Governor. The Broncos thank Stewart for all his hard work over the years with the organization.
“2022-2023 was a very up and down year. We had some very successful promotions, and several sell out dates but that didn’t translate to a profit.” Said Chairman of the Board Trent McCleary. “On the ice we were one game short of making the playoff and that translated into a revenue shortfall. We have since made changes of personnel both in the hockey department and in the business office to reflect the need to engage more with our local stakeholders and to provide more support to our players on the bench and on the ice. We are excited to see the results in this coming season.”
Financially, it was a difficult year for the Broncos as the team announced a deficiency of $368,865 for the 22/23 season. Missing the playoffs is one of the main reasons for the deficiency as the team was not able to build up revenue from a playoff run. Lower than normal season tickets, and concession sales also all played a part in the deficiency. However, merchandise sales, and game day walk up sales were a big positive for the club. Season ticket sales increased year over year but are still below the “before-COVID” numbers.
The team has welcomed a number of new faces in the business office in the hopes of helping get the team back in the black. Kevin Simpson has joined as the Executive Vice President of Business Operations, Adam Filmon recently joined as the Senior Manager of Business Operations and Hockey Analytics, and Mat Barrett has been hired as the new Broadcast and Community Relations Manager.
The business team is looking forward to continuing to build on the strong corporate partnerships that exist, and create new ones as well. In addition, the team is excited to create an exciting game day experience for fans of all ages.
“As an organization we have a lot of work to do this season to help increase revenues. Our focus will be on selling more season tickets and corporate partnerships throughout the season,” Simpson said. “We also want to enhance the overall fan experience at our games by having several big promotional nights this season. The team will be wearing special theme jerseys and having premium giveaways at the door on select games which will help attract more fans. We want Broncos games to be fun, exciting, and affordable for families to come out to this season. We want to keep the momentum of our Home Opener last weekend going throughout the season and really entertain our fans this season. I think it’s an exciting time to a Broncos fan.”
The team also continued to support former players in their educational pursuits as $147,000 was paid towards that education.
On the Hockey Operations side, there weren’t many changes when it comes to staffing during the 2022/2023 season, but in the offseason, the Broncos hired Taras McEwen as Assistant Coach as Matt Keillor has moved on, and Matthew Zoltek has been brought on as the new Head Athletic Therapist. The team has also increased the staff size to add Regan Darby in a more full-time role as Assistant Coach, adding Chris Cuthbert to help more at practice as an Assistant as well.
“Obviously we feel the weight of having a good season for the health and well-being of the franchise,” said General Manager Chad Leslie. “But with that comes a sense of ownership for us as an organization to provide value add for our corporate partners and make every night at the rink an opportunity to engage our amazing fans. We look forward to the season and getting all of our players back as soon as possible.”
On the ice, the team had an up and down year, missing the playoffs in the final game of the regular season. The Broncos earned a 31-33-1-3 record and are looking to build on that for the 23/24 season and make the jump to the playoffs for the first time since the 2017/2018 season.
Three players graduated the Broncos last season as Sam McGinley, Drew Englot, and Mason Ward have all moved on to university hockey across Canada.
Through drafting this offseason, the Broncos have added 12 players to the organization. 11 players were taken through the WHL Prospects Draft and US Priority Draft while one was taking in the CHL Import Draft. Three of the 11 players drafted in the 2008-born class have been signed.
The Broncos organization is looking forward to the coming season and will continue to develop the franchise into a position of strength on and off the ice. While the last couple of seasons have been disappointing, the team believes the right people are in place for the club to take more steps forward.
The Broncos would like to thank the fans, billets, corporate supporters, staff, volunteers, and the entire community for their continued support of the hockey club.