By Percy Hebert – Quesnel Cariboo Observer
The future of the Mills in Quesnel is not bright.
The Mills haven’t left town yet, but the vans are packed.
The owners of the Quesnel Millionaires are discussing selling the team to Chilliwack, Quesnel Millionaires president Bob Sales said.
“But all options are still open.
“We’re still talking to two groups.”
In Chilliwack, president of the Chiefs Development Group, Moray Keith said, “the recent announcement by the owners of the BCHL Quesnel Millionaires has prompted CDG to explore the possibilities of the team moving here. [Chilliwack].”
“We’re talking with the people to the people from Quesnel to see if we can create a good fit.”
The sale of the Millionaires would mark the end of 35 years of Millioniares history in Quesnel.
The decision to sell the team was not an easy one, Sales said because the current group of owners took over the team two years ago because they wanted to keep the Mills in Quesnel.
However, the expected support from the fans did not materialize and the owners were unwilling to put more money into the franchise.
“We have lost $300,000 over the last two years,” Sales said.
Given the current financial situation of the Mills in Quesnel, a move to Chilliwack would be a win-win for all involved, not just the current owners.
“It’s a good option for the kids,” Sales said.
“It would keep them together as a team.”
A decision, on either selling the team to the Chiefs Development Group or to a second, un-named group, must be made before the end of May, but Sales said the decision could be made as soon as the end of this week.
Moving the Mills franchise to Chilliwack would establish a natural rivalry, given the BCHL Langley Chiefs were formerly known as the Chilliwack Chiefs.
Despite the likely sale of the Millionaires, Sales did say the owners would ensure the franchise was in good standing with the league and the city of Quesnel.
“We have cleared up the franchise’s old ice debt with the city,” Sales said.
“We are very proud of that.
“We promised to pay it off and we did.”