Warriors owner Cheyne: "I feel like I've let everybody down"
The owner of the West Kelowna Warriors says he's as sad as anyone to see the team leave.
Mark Cheyne (Sheen) says in terms of the move to North Delta, he's got a letter of intent signed, as well as approval from the BCHL's Board of Governors.
He says the team has had many loyal supporters over the years.
"The fans and the volunteers we've had along the way - they've been outstanding. Every one of them," he said.
"Those are the people that this bugs me about, more than anything. As far as community goes, I hate having to do this, and I feel like I've let everybody down, to a degree. It bugs me."
Cheyne says the deal to Delta first presented itself a couple of months ago, and that losses hit $300,000 dollars last year, after years of operating in the red.
"Everybody knows the club's been for sale for five years, (and) I'd actually hired some consultants to help sell it in the past two years," he said.
"My goals were to keep this thing here, there's no doubt about it. Always has been, and I don't think that was any secret to anybody. But there comes a time when you've got to look past that too."
He says after holding onto the belief that on-ice success would bring in big crowds, last year's championship run proved otherwise.
"I've been told for nine years that we've gotta get over the hump. Get through the second round of playoffs, knock out Vernon or Penticton, and they've got great organizations, and that's what I was told," he said.
"If we get over that, the team will sell itself, basically. Well, that came and went, and our crowds are less than they were last year at this time."
Cheyne also says he won't be involved whatsoever with the new team next season.
The Warriors final regular season game at Royal LePage Place is on February 21, against the Penticton Vees.