The West Kelowna Warriors have given notice that this will be their final season in the Okanagan city.
Team owner Mark Cheyne wants to move the team to North Delta next season, due to a lack of fan support at Royal Lepage Place.
The team reportedly lost $300,000 there last season.
Vernon Vipers executive vice president Todd Miller says the BC Hockey League board discussed the issues this week.
“The board of governors has given approval for West Kelowna to explore their options. We’re not saying as a board of governors that they are moving to North Delta. That’s not a done deal, but Mark Cheyne does have the right to explore his options,” Miller tells Kiss FM
Miller says the Warriors have had a tough time drawing fans up against competition like the Kelowna Rockets and Penticton Vees.
“It’s a team that’s coming off a national championship last year and they are still struggling at the gate this year. That franchise, I can tell you having been close to them for a long time, has done almost everything it can to try and put people in seats there.”
The Warriors have spent 11 seasons in West Kelowna, and won the RBC Cup national junior A title last season.
Miller says it would be tough to see one of their biggest and closest rivals move to another division.
“But at the same time you want to do what’s best for your partners in the league and Mark Cheyne has been a great partner of the BC Hockey league for a long time, and if it’s in his best interests to no longer operate in west Kelowna, I think as a board of governors we have to support that,” adds Miller.
There have been media reports that Cheyne has sold the team, but Miller says that is not official.
Reports say the Warriors would play out of the Sungod Arena in North Delta.