By Cole Parkinson
The Vauxhall Arena may soon look a little different when people sit down in the bleachers.
While not many advertisements are currently within the walls of the arena, the group of ice users who frequently take to the ice in Vauxhall were looking to gain permission from council to do so.
“We would like to request the opportunity to start advertising in the Vauxhall Arena again. When you go to a lot of arenas across Alberta, most of them are plastered with advertising and signs, Vauxhall is fairly bare. We, as the ice users, in the past were able to do it but it hasn’t been done in a few years so we are asking to be able to do it again,” said Jen Crowson who was representing the Vauxhall ice users.
The reason a delegation was needed to be able to place ads within the arena was due to a policy council of the day passed in 2017.
Within the Arena Signage Policy, all advertisements would need to go through the town in order to be displayed at the arena.
“I brought the idea to Vauxhall Minor Hockey to start working with all of the ice users, just to have a forward front as a group as well as working together on things we could. All the ice users were contacted, and as far as I know no one was missed. We have the Vauxhall Skating Club, Vauxhall Pond Hockey, the Lethbridge Female Elite which is a bantam and midget team, Vauxhall Minor Hockey and the Vauxhall Rec Hockey League which is a men’s hockey league,” continued Crowson. “I talked to each group and asked if they were in favour of moving forward as a group and to ask for permission. And to be honest, the most excited group was the men’s league.”
As far as how much advertising they may be able to obtain for the current ice season, Crowson estimated between 10 to 20 sponsorships with each groups varying in terms of how many they acquire.
She also wanted to have everyone follow one base price and then the groups would separately work on finding sponsorship from there.
The added benefit of adding advertisements in the arena would also allow the different teams and organizations a chance to seek sponsorship from places other than Vauxhall.
“Each group is unique and seems to do fundraising of some type, some more and some less. The really great thing about this would be the ability to have advertising in Vauxhall, not just of Vauxhall businesses but in and around southern Alberta. You can see from the draw zone of the female league and even the men’s league, there are people coming from 200/300 kilometres away,” explained Crowson. “It’s just another avenue for teams to secure sponsorship. For example with Pond Hockey, our goal is to keep fees as low as possible to get as many kids.”
Administration pointed towards previous damage from advertisements as a reason why things were changed originally.
Moving forward, they would have a better idea of how to proceed while avoiding any potential harm to arena infrastructure.
“We took them all down originally to clean the walls and we found some leaks. They are damaging the walls so if we found a way to do it without causing damage. We suggest hanging them on the cables (above home and away benches) that we have up now,” said CAO Cris Burns.
A motion was made to allow the ice user groups to place sponsorship in the Vauxhall arena and was carried unanimously.