Kootenay Ice partnership with Kimberley Dynamiters hopes to ‘create great environment for everybody’

GM Matt Cockell believes formal relationship between two local teams was natural move for community

On Thursday afternoon, the Kootenay Ice announced a partnership with the Kimberley Dynamiters of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.

As part of the deal, during the 2017-18 season, Ice season seat holders will receive 15 percent off individual tickets to Dynamiters’ games with proof of their season seat holder pass. In addition, all Dynamiters season seat holders will receive 15 percent off individual game tickets to Ice home games.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have a formal relationship with the Dynamiters,” said Ice president and general manager Matt Cockell. “From the beginning, we’ve said we want to encourage and enable participation in the entire East Kootenay region. We feel hockey in the region is something we all want to support, we all want to be a part of.

“We’re going to be cheering for the Dynamiters all season with our group [and] we think that that’s really important in terms of the community coming together.”

Since taking over the ownership of the franchise in May, Cockell and business partner Greg Fettes have put an emphasis on embracing the entire East Kootenay region which they’ve dubbed ‘Ice Country’.

“Ice Country is the entire East Kootenay region, and we’re excited to engage everybody,” Cockell said. “When you talk about partnership, it means benefit for everybody so not just one party or another, it’s a benefit for both. We’re trying to get out, as our staff has grown, and have more of those discussions and as we do we hope to create more partnerships.

“Ideally, we’re talking a month from now, [we’ll be out in] Fernie, Creston, Invermere, Nelson, Sparwood, all the communities. We want to be a part of that experience for everybody.”

According to Cockell, there was no precedent or specific model for the Major Junior-Junior B partnership, but simply a desire to build their community connections.

“Community focus is something that’s really important for our players [and] our staff,” he said. “I think it was as simple as, looking around, we wanted to be a part of enabling a fun, really exciting environment. Over time with their fans, we hope we can all be cheering each other on and create a great environment for everybody.”

The Dynamiters have also expressed excitement about the new partnership.

“Going forward, the Kimberley Dynamiters are very excited to have an opportunity to grow a partnership with the Kootenay Ice,” said Chad Koran, a director with the Dynamiters in a press release. “We feel this partnership will benefit not only both hockey clubs but our incredible hockey fans as well.”

While the extent of the partnership, as it currently stands, only explicitly implicates ticket deals, according to a tweet from the Ice’s official twitter account fans should “stay tuned for a really exciting announcement for our team in partnership with Kimberley closer to the start of the season.”