The Green Bay Committee has announced that they shutting up shop, effective immediately.
The local group, which has been aiming to help boost season ticket sales for the Kootenay ICE, has said the lack of engagement by ICE owners has led them to this decision.
“We are finding there were problems we were running into. Our sales program was being hampered because there was a lack of engagement with the ICE in our community,” said marketing director John Hudak.
The committee kicked off their new Reach Out Ticket Campaign last month, but just as that was happening an article from the Winnipeg Free Press stated the ICE was on the move the Winnipeg.
Since the article, the ICE has not made comment about it.
“The fact the ICE was not coming out and addressing concerns in the community in regards to their long-term plans for remaining in the community, it caused us some problems and was hampering what we were doing on our sales campaign,” said Hudak.
The Green Bay Committee sent an email to co-owner Matt Cockell letting them know the intentions to terminate.
In the email, it states “the absence of active engagement by you and Greg with our committee has become a major issue in our community. We believe that this failure has become the biggest obstacle in our ability to achieve a highly successful sales campaign and to create an effective steering committee.”
Hudak said since the email was sent Nov. 13, there has been no comment by Cockell or the team.
“It’s extremely disappointing that we have had to terminate our campaign at this particular time, but it is what it is,” he said.
Co-owners Cockell and Greg Fettes purchased the franchise prior to the 2017-18 season.
The email has also been sent to the WHL commissioner and governors.
The Green Bay Committee made note that they would consider re-activating if they were provided by a real commitment by the owners.
“They branded the team ‘Our ICE’ and that’s very much how I think the community feels, certainly we feel that same way on this Green Bay Committee,” said Hudak.
With the team not addressing the rumours and speculation around the future of the team, Hudak said as a fan it’s not good to see.
“The silence is deafening,” he said. “I can’t speak for the owners of the team, I’m not a mind-reader and I don’t know what they are planning on doing, but it’s just highly unusual that people who have been in town for a very short period of time are not making that comment. If they have attendance problems [and] then they aren’t making any comments here to us and not willing to engage with us. It’s disturbing.”
Committee members have been advised to cease all sale initiatives and to return all funding sheets to sponsors.