Ramblers request $10,000 from county

Dave Mathieson
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Ramblers president Jim Henwood (nearest) and second vice president Keith Blenkhorn made a presentation last week inside the Municipality of Cumberland County council chambers.

UPPER NAPPAN - The Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers requested $10,000 from the Municipality of Cumberland County to help pay for ice time at Amherst Stadium during a last weeks bi-weekly meeting of council.

They had earlier made the same presentation to the Town of Amherst.

"We'd like to see a partnership with the Municipality of Cumberland County and the Town of Amherst to help cover our ice rentals, with $10,000 coming from the Municipality of Cumberland County," said Jim Henwood, Ramblers president, during the presentation.

The $10,000 request is for the 2013-2014 season but Henwood said they hope they can reach a multi-year arrangement with the county.

The Ramblers are the Maritime Junior Hockey Leagues only team owned by the community, with the majority of their capital coming from gate receipts and fundraising.

During the presentation Henwood said their budget for the 2012-2013 regular season was $323,000.

Asked by councilor Ernest Gilbert if the hockey team will break even this year Henwood said, "I feel we will be debt free."

"If our season would have ended at the end of the regular season and we didn't make the playoffs, we would have been $42,000 in the red," he said.

Henwood tabled three team expenses during the meeting.

"Our coaches expenses this year is $54,600, our billets are $55,000 and our and our bus is $42,000," said Henwood. "That's regular season. That has nothing to do with playoffs."

Bus expenses went up $13,000 from the previous season.

"We were fortunate over the years to use a bus company in Sackville but the gentleman passed away in the off-season and we were forced to use Atlantic Coach out of Moncton," said Henwood.

The Ramblers have one player who isn't billeted, Josh Pugsley, making the cost of billeting, $55,000, more than most other teams in the league.

"You take a team like Dieppe, they have maybe two or three billets," said Henwood. "Almost all our players are billeted out."

The Ramblers attracted more 2,054 fans during their final game of the season Saturday night at Amherst Stadium.

Henwood said the capacity at the stadium is 2,200 but said their support during the regular season seems to be maxed out at 750 fans.

"I don't know if it's the state of the economy today or what. We've tried doing things (to boost attendance) but at the end of the day we averaged 750," said Henwood. "Seven hundred and fifty isn't really that bad because, at the end of the day, it put us in fourth place attendance-wise in an 11-team league."

Two other sources of revenue include a new major sponsor, CIBC Wood Gundy.

"We were very lucky to have Stephen Maltby and his firm come on board," said Henwood.

And their 50/50 draw.

"Our 50/50 is probably our biggest way of raising money."

The Ramblers 50/50 was more than $10,000 during their April 5 and April 13 games, with half of the money going to the winner.

Henwood said the $10,000 mark is a new record.

"The (QMJHL Moncton) Wildcats don't get that with twice as many people."

The Ramblers also have a county-wide toonie draw.

"It's another big fundraiser for our hockey club," said Henwood. "If we had 1,000 people regularly playing the toonie draw that would give us $52,000 a year."

With revenue and expenses laid out before them, council said they would take the Ramblers request into consideration.














Organizations: CIBC Wood Gundy, Maritime Junior Hockey Leagues

Geographic location: Amherst Stadium, Cumberland County, UPPER NAPPAN Moncton Sackville Dieppe

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Recent comments

    April 19, 2013 - 06:46

    Sounds more like a win to all the rest of us charlie.

    April 17, 2013 - 09:06

    Charlie you are not welcomed at the games anyway you old cry baby!!!

  • Charlie Joseph
    April 16, 2013 - 18:08

    Put a swear jar at local games. The fans could raise 10,000 in three games by charging swearing boors $1 per utterance. From now on, they are the Wood Gundy Welfare Recipient Hockey Club to me. I will no longer attend games. A win for me.

  • County resident
    April 16, 2013 - 13:59

    I'm a hockey fan, but it's just too bad the county couldn't spend a little more money and actually pave local roads......we got a "double chip" paving job on one of the worst roads in the County this past summer......because apparently that's all our taxpayer money could afford. So, when my car window gets taken out by flying gravel, I'll be sure to console myself with the knowledge that a bus company out of Moncton is getting paid.

  • wingman
    April 16, 2013 - 08:53

    Give it to them, they give it to other organizations and this one brings enjoyment to many people in the county.