© Amber Nicholson/Journal Pioneer
The City of Summerside has shown time and time again that they think they are something they’re not.
From mega concerts, to a 10-storey hotel at the Credit Union Place, to our current example; trying to get a QMJHL team.
I can’t see how the city would want a team here. If teams in Bathurst, St. John’s, Lewiston and Charlottetown lose money, you would think that a team in Summerside, with about 50,000 people less than the other cities, would loose money, too. Not only this, but the Summerside Western Capitals would likely be given a similar fate as the Charlottetown Abbies.
The Capitals thrive in Summerside. People go through minor hockey hoping one day to play for the Junior A team. They have shown tremendous support to the community, from something big like Christopher Perry, to small things like giving up their time to collect for the Salvation Army during Christmas. Who in their right mind would want the to see Caps end up folding or moving?
The attendance for the caps have always been among the highest in the MHL.
Also for the third time in the last five years the Caps have averaged more than 2,000 people per game in the playoffs. In this year’s playoffs they averaged 2,030 fans per game – that number I’m sure will go up following their victory over Woodstock. It’s also very close to the 2,151 people that the P.E.I. Rocket have averaged following two home playoff games this year.
What I am trying to say is, if the Caps have such high support, why doesn’t the city use that to their advantage? Keep trying to host events like the Fred Page Cup and the RBC Cup. Put some money into the minor hockey program to help develop players that can play for the Caps or even offer cheaper concessions to season ticket holders or even lower one of the highest ticket prices in the MHL. Maybe that would put the attendance over the top.
But after that, If the city insists on have a QMHJL team play in Summerside, perhaps the P.E.I. Rocket would play a handful of games in Summerside every year.
Maybe the the city thinks they are too good for the Caps? Maybe the think they think they can do better?
But the fact of the matter is the people want the Caps, not the Q. The city workers in city hall represent the people, not themselves.
Summerside, is perfect for the MHL and now that the Rocket are in Charlottetown to stay for at least three more years, and the Caps are going after the 2012 RBC Cup, I think it’s good timing for the City of Summerside to put their ego aside, give up, and support something the people want. Hopefully history won’t repeat itself.