Following a regular board meeting, it was decided that the Kimberley Dynamiters will be able to welcome around 750 fans to the stands at the Civic Centre, just under 50 per cent capacity for the building.
Everyone aged 12 and over must show proof of double vaccination. Fans will need to wear masks at all times unless when seated, eating or drinking.
Dynamiters President James Leroux said the organization agreed with the city to keep the limit at around 750, around the lower end of the half-capacity mark, to ensure they’re never coming close to the max-capacity limit.
He added that before the COVID shutdowns the Civic Centre would average 680 to 700 fans.
“We’re just fortunate that we have a big enough venue that, even with 750 it’s still a lot of people in the building but without being extremely crowded,” Leroux told the Bulletin.
“And I think just mainly, everybody in town has been starving for any kind of excitement, action, or sports events. The last two years has been pretty boring, people have been staying at home and not doing anything, so us giving them something to do, there’s a little bit of a buzz around town that people are finally getting to get out and they’re getting excited about it.”
It’s an exciting prospect for hockey fans in Kimberley and also for the players on the team who will get to once again, or for the first time in the case of the new recruits, get to experience the energy and support provided by the local fanbase.
“Every other barn in the [KIJHL), excluding Fernie and Revelstoke, they’re lucky to get 100 fans, 150 fans,” Leroux said. “So these kids that are coming out of AA or AAA hockey and are used to having just parents and girlfriends and grandmas and grandpas in the stands, it’s pretty exciting for them.
“Our average in the years before we shut down was like 680 or 700. So it’s really exciting for those kids to experience that environment.”
The Dynamiters have their at-home exhibition games on Sept. 17 and 23. Tickets for adults, seniors and students will cost $10 and for children it will be $5.
Seasons tickets are on sale now and you can reserve them at the exhibition games, at the Kimberley Bulletin and the Timber Hitch.
The team is also still in need of volunteers and billet homes for the coming season. Get in touch with Kerry Hall at 250-427-6525 if you’re able to help out.