PRESS RELEASE: St. Stephen ACES Under New Ownership
St. Stephen, NB – After playing 5 seasons in the Maritime Hockey League (MHL), Charlotte County Hockey Club Inc. and the Executive of the St. Stephen ACES has announced that the franchise is now under new ownership. The Club, incorporated as a not for profit organization in 2013, has operated on a deficit budget from the very beginning and while efforts were made over the past couple of years to find new sources of revenue to support the team, those efforts met with very limited success. Says Team Governor, Mike Horne, “Over the course of the past 2 seasons in particular, we found ourselves in the unfortunate position where our Executive had to make a very difficult decision and that was we needed to sell the franchise in order to meet the financial obligations owed to all of our creditors. The decision to sell the franchise was extremely difficult and heart-wrenching for the Club’s Directors and Executive.”
While we had excellent fan support from the very beginning, averaging 800 fans a game, ticket sales only represent up to 25% of the revenues needed to successfully operate a Junior A Hockey Club. As a not for profit organization the remaining 75% comes from sponsorship, fund-raising and advertising. Realizing that the ACES needed some assistance, in the Fall of 2017 the Executive sought expert advice from a group of local business leaders in efforts to resolve the deficit and to develop a long-term sustainability plan. That led to a breakfast meeting hosted by the St. Croix Christian Centre in December 2017 when invitations were extended to the St. Stephen business community. At that time details were provided about the financial condition of the Club along with the options going forward which included the possibility of losing the franchise.
The ACES Directors and Executive can’t say enough about how much we appreciate the strong support that we have received from our major sponsors, Arauco North America and AE Horne & Son Ltd, our GameDay sponsors and advertisers, our organizing groups, the many billet families who made our players part of their families, our GameDay crews and our fans who have been second to none but to quote one of the presenters at the December 2017 breakfast meeting …… ”the Club simply is not financially sustainable.”.
At a recent MHL Board of Governors meeting the League approved the sale of the ACES franchise to Global Centre Ice Inc. who will be moving the franchise to play out of the Grant Harvey Centre in Fredericton’s Scotiabank Park South, a community recreation hub. We wish the new owners every success.