HARBOUR GRACE, NL — Businesses at the Danny Cleary Harbour Grace Community Centre may take a hit in revenue this season.
With recent news that the Harbour Grace Ocean Enterprises CeeBee Stars won’t be playing this season, stadium manager Carl 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.”