CORNER BROOK Western Royals president Ross Coates will know soon enough where his fan base will come from, but he’s making sure loyal followers of the team in Corner Brook have a chance to watch the team forge ahead in a new home at the Hodder Memorial Recreation Complex.
Some of the loyal followers of the Royals in past years don’t own a vehicle so they wouldn’t be able to take in home games in Deer Lake and that’s something Coates won’t see happen this year.
He said the team is already making plans to have buses made available to transport fans from Corner Brook to Deer Lake. In past years, the team has had volunteer Rosalind West book buses for Royals fans to travel to games across the island in the five-team provincial senior hockey league.
West will take on the role again this year so anybody interested in attending the games will be able to do so at an affordable price.
“Rosalind will be booking as many buses as needed,” Coates said. “If she can fill one bus she will do it, if we need two or three ... whatever she can fill she will do it.”
Holding seats for home Western Royals home games will go on sale Saturday and Sunday at the Hodder Memorial Recreation Complex and the following weekend people in the Corner Brook area can purchase them at Meineke Muffler on Maple Valley Road on both Saturday and Sunday.
“We’re basically reserving so many for the Deer Lake area and so many for the Corner Brook area, equal amounts,” he said.
Coates is expecting the team to hit the ice for training camp in early October and he expects the core group of players to return to the team again this year.
However, he is actively working the phones to find quality players to fill the team’s four import cards and is also close to a number of deals via the trade route. He has a number of imports on the radar and finding a prolific goalscorer is high on his priority list. He’s hoping to have some deals in place as early as this week and is also working on what he called a blockbuster deal that fans of the team will applaud.
Coates said support for the team in Deer Lake has been great and he’s pleased with how the business community has responded to the team moving to Deer Lake. He welcomes other businesses or individuals interested in supporting the team on a corporate level.