Thanks in part to federal subsidy programs, the Raiders were able to avoid laying off any of their 11 full-time employees, although there have been some internal “sacrifices.”Hunt noted that “prudent fiscal management” is always critical for a small-market team like the Raiders, who have little margin for error at the best of times.
After ending a 33-year championship drought in 2019, Prince Albert was on its way to another division pennant last spring when the league shut down with two weekends left in the regular season.
Not only did the Raiders lose two critical home dates, they were deprived of another potentially lucrative playoff run.
So, instead of enjoying what could have been one of the most profitable seasons in franchise history, the team recorded a net loss of $331,895 (including about $167,000 for the CHL’s recent class-action settlement).
“It’s hard for us not to think: ‘Geez, we would have had ourselves on real good footing (in a normal year),’ ” Hunt noted. “There’s a buzz around town about a (new) building. Certainly we would have loved to try to have as much momentum as possible in the event that something like that could happen. Then, boom, it’s out of your control.”
The Raiders are positioned to ice another strong team in 2020-21, assuming the league is able to get an abbreviated season off the ground.
Either way, Hunt expressed “100-per-cent confidence” that his team will survive the COVID crisis.
“We’ll bare-bones it,” he added. “We’ll do whatever it takes internally without sacrificing the player experience. I just know our community is resilient. We have people committed to our success. We have tremendous support from our board. I just don’t see us doing anything but coming out of this a little bumped and bruised but (with our) head up and forging ahead.”