Lethbridge, AB – The Western Hockey League announced Wednesday that the Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club have been named the WHL’s Business of the Year Award winner.
The Hurricanes were nominated as the Eastern Conference Business of the Year for the second consecutive season in 2019-2020. The ‘Canes finished as the runner-up to the Everett Silvertips in 2018-2019.
“We are super honoured to be selected as the WHL Business of the Year,” said Hurricanes General Manager of Business Operations Terry Huisman. “There has been a lot of hard work by our team over the last few seasons to get to where we are, and we are super proud of the work we’ve been able to accomplish off the ice.”
In 2019-2020, the Hurricanes had a total of 123,069 fans enter the ENMAX Centre for an average attendance of 3,970 per game, which was on pace to be the second-best attended season in franchise history. The average of 3,970 also matched the ‘Canes average attendance from 2018-2019.
“Our fan base has been great,” said Huisman. “They seem to be getting younger and more excited and engaged at every game and we finished pretty good [for attendance] which is really exciting and you can tell the pride our fans have in the community.”
The ‘Canes were very involved in the community of Lethbridge and beyond, including initiatives in nearby Coaldale, Magrath and Raymond as the Hurricanes provided presentations on leadership, anti-bullying, financial literacy and concussion awareness while connecting through attending minor hockey practices and helping to build positive skills on and off the ice. In addition, the Hurricanes helped contribute over $163,000 to local communities and organizations.
“We are a big part of the community of Lethbridge and we take that seriously and we’ve focused on being a part of the community, helping the community and being represented in the community as much as we can,” said Huisman.
The Western Hockey League announced today the Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club as the recipient of the WHL Business Award.
As the premiere sports and entertainment experience in southern Alberta, the Hurricanes have successfully executed new ventures in order to strengthen their roots with fans and communities in southern Alberta.
The hiring of a Fan Experience Coordinator helped to further establish the club’s vision for an engaging game-day experience. Implementation of intermission segments featuring skaters dressed in dinosaur costumes quickly became an online hit and convinced other WHL Clubs to follow the lead set by the Hurricanes.
The curation of the team’s digital content also became a focal point in their outreach efforts. Providing behind-the-scenes access of their Club, the Hurricanes delivered unparalleled access to their players to build positive engagement.
Along with the implementation of new ticketing software to make online ticket sales more accessible to fans, the Hurricanes saw growth in their number of season tickets sold as well as an overall growth in attendance.
An innovative approach to community relations has also benefitted the entire region of southern Alberta, further cementing the Hurricanes’ role in the region. In addition to contributing over $163,000 to local communities and organizations, the Hurricanes placed their focus on extending their community outreach beyond Lethbridge’s city limits.
Executing initiatives in rural communities such as Coaldale, Magrath, and Raymond, the Hurricanes provided presentations on leadership, anti-bullying, financial literacy, and concussion awareness. They also connected with the rural communities through attending minor hockey practices, helping to build positive skills on and off the ice.
RUNNER UP: Seattle Thunderbirds