DIDSBURY - Mountain View Colts fans can expect to see some exciting new things designed to enhance the fan experience next season, says new club president Cole Sutherland.
Elected in February, Sutherland officially took over his new position at the recent annual general meeting, with several other new board members also being sworn in.
The Didsbury-based Heritage Junior B Hockey League team has a new vice-president and secretary, and is looking for a new treasurer, he said.
For his part, Sutherland played with the Colts from the 2012-13 season to the 2016-17 season, winning the league championship in 2015-16. He was team captain that year.
A forward with the Colts, Sutherland grew up in Cartairs and also lived in Didsbury. He played AAA hockey in Airdrie.
Work is already underway on a number of initiatives aimed at enhancing the fan experience for the 2023-24 Colts season, he said.
“We are working on improving the fan experience,” he said. “One thing we are looking at doing is making it possible for people to drink (alcohol) in the stands. We are trying to develop that. We are talking to the town about developing a liquor licence and how we go about that.”
The team is also working with the league on the possibility of broadcasting games on HNLive starting next season.
“We would like to stream the games so people could watch at home, especially for people who may not live that close (to Didsbury),” he said. “The league is looking at doing one game a week from each division, but we might be implementing that ourselves as well.”
Another possible activity would see shoot-the-puck contests during intermissions.
“You draw for the chance to shoot the puck into a little hole and win some money,” he said. “There are other intermission activities we are looking into as well.”
The team was pleased with the fan support last season, but hopes to attract even more people to future games, he said.
“We’ve seen good turnouts and especially during playoffs, but our goal is to always bring in new and more fans,” he said.
Player recruiting for next season is ongoing, he said.
The 2022-23 Colts made it to the second round of the playoffs, falling to the Airdrie Techmation Thunder after defeating the Three Hills Thrashers in round 1.
As well as fulfilling his new role as club president, Sutherland will be finishing a degree in Sports and Recreation Management at Mount Royal University in Calgary this fall.