Bulldogs deal bad timing in Alberni

Now wasn't the time to ask a community with declining fortunes to ante up to buy a hockey team, one reader said.

To the Editor,

Re: Bulldogs give community hope, says proponent, Letters, May 24.

In response to Tom McEvay’s letter, several points need to be made.

First, although it’s true that the Okanagan Hockey Schools is prepared to sell the Bulldogs, team president Andy Oakes stated on April 20, that “there is no danger of the team moving anywhere.”

The chances of the team moving in time for the 2012-2013 season are zero, and any sale of the team before 2013 is highly unlikely, especially since any sale has to be approved by the league.

Secondly, with the local economy in poor shape and with Catalyst Paper’s future in question, this wasn’t the time to ask for financial support for a highly risky venture and to set such a ridiculously short fundraising period.

As of May 25, less than half the amount required to purchase the Bulldogs had been raised, and the society made no provision for raising money for operating costs, as I suggested to the key directors. They appear to have grossly overestimated the local support for the team, to say nothing of poor arithmetic.

To raise $100,000 in the Founder’s Club, there would have to be 20 donors at $5,000 each (as of May 25, they had 1). Even with 20 members in the Founder’s Club, the society would need 2,000 donations of $200 each in the Donor class.

Mr. McEvay’s comment that he isn’t naive rings hollow in the light of the facts. Yet he obviously had support.

Lastly, the society obviously expected that a huge surge of public support for the team and a huge fear of losing the team would have $500,000 roll in in a period of about six weeks. They obviously grossly overestimated the enthusiasm of the general public for the Alberni Valley Bulldogs and the ability of fans to donate money in harsh economic times.

Richard Berg,

Port Alberni