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Excitement experienced at first Moose Jaw Warriors game in 18 months

Ron Walter writes about some challenges at Mosaic Place
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Trading Thoughts by Ron Walter

Excitement was ours for the first regular WHL game of the season in Moose Jaw.
         

Excitement at finally being able to view a live game after 18 months, excitement at mingling with fans, and excitement visiting with the regular fans seated in our section.
         

A corps of security guards got us to show our vaccination credentials, but the guards were confused when some people came in without being vetted first.

(We learned later that some fans objecting to the credentials procedure got so nasty police had to be called.)
         

Up the escalator and we headed to the concession.
         

Before I had a chance to read the rapidly changing electronic menu board someone behind me exclaimed: “$14 for a burger!’’
         

Sure enough, that was the price. I chose a $9 chicken tender dish and placed my order with the poorly trained newbie at the till.
         

Instead of having to wait at the other end of the concession at the pass-through window we had to wait beside the folks in line — not appropriate when we should be social distancing.
         

Noticing a discrepancy of $5.50 for a snack hot dog and $9 for the menu board hot dog I asked and was told the $9 hot dog included fries.     
         

There was a handful of fries with the three bits of chicken in my order.
         

It seems the company managing the concessions and Mosaic Place is out to squeeze all the profit it can from the concessions.
         

Remember this is the company hired by city council because it manages over 50 facilities in North America. Remember this is the company that on winning the concession contract demanded $150,000 from the city to buy supplies.
         

While waiting for my order I asked the wife of a friend who makes his living by winning contracts if he ever asked for money from a company when he won the job
         

“He’d get laughed out of the building,” she replied.
         

Instead of re-tendering or awarding the tender to the runner-up city council caved in and gave them $150,000.
         

Taxpayers are stuck with this management contract with taxpayers picking up any losses and the management company smiling all the way to the bank.              
         

The game against the visiting Saskatoon Blades was enjoyable and entertaining.
         

The Warriors won 7-1, after a slow first period.
         

What was cool to see was the rare short-handed goal, another goal on a breakaway and the hat trick by 16-year-old rookie Yager.
         

Warriors have the makings of a really competitive team this year.
         

Attendance wasn’t announced, nor published anywhere that I could find.
         

A generous estimate is 1,200 in a 4,400 seat arena. The low attendance generated speculation on Coffee Row and online that people opposed to showing vaccination credentials, or just opposed to vaccination, stayed home.
         

That was likely one reason, along with some confusion over just what is needed to be shown at the gate and fans just not wanting to be in a crowd with this pandemic.
         

Other reasons exist. This Scribbler knows one couple who decided they are getting too old for the cold. Another friend decided that $1,000 plus for a pair of season tickets at the early bird price is too much.
         

And another decided after disappointment with the 2019 season to not renew but is open to attending if the team measures up.
         

In the old Civic Centre the Warriors had a core of never miss fans between 2,000 and 2,200. With half that number at the first regular game the Warriors have a massive marketing challenge to get bums in the seats.
 
Ron Walter can be reached at ronjoy@sasktel.net     

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.