The Government of Saskatchewan announced funding on Friday (Jan 15) to support the province’s Western Hockey League (WHL) teams and the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL). This support will help the survival of these leagues and their teams in Saskatchewan in the face of the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our junior hockey teams are a critical part of the cultural fabric and local economies across the province,” Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison said. “Necessary restrictions due to COVID-19 have had a significant impact on these leagues and their teams and this support will help them address these financial challenges.”
The provincial government is providing $3 million in support to help WHL teams address revenue shortfalls as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. Each of Saskatchewan’s WHL teams will receive $600,000.
The SJHL will receive $1 million in provincial support. This funding will be provided to the League.
Provincial government officials continue to work with the WHL, the SJHL and other sports leagues on options for a safe return to play in the future.
“COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on our five Saskatchewan-based WHL teams and we commend the Government of Saskatchewan for providing this assistance at such a critical time,” WHL Commissioner Ron Robison said. “Our WHL Clubs are a vital source of community pride and major economic driver in Swift Current, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, and the support from the Government of Saskatchewan will not only allow the teams to remain viable but will ensure we can continue to provide a world-class development and educational experience for our players.”
“The SJHL, which consists of community owned teams, has been in a state of uncertainty due to COVID-19 during the past several months,” SJHL President Bill Chow said. “The financial support that has been provided by the Saskatchewan Government creates a more positive outlook for our teams.”
“Hockey is our national pastime and a vital part of our community and others across the province,” Moose Jaw Mayor Fraser Tolmie said. “This provincial government funding is very timely and very much appreciated as we work together to address the impacts of this pandemic.”