The West Kelowna Warriors fans gather at the team’s playoff opener. - Image: Alistair Waters

The West Kelowna Warriors fans gather at the team’s playoff opener. - Image: Alistair Waters

Warriors staying in West Kelowna

The Warriors made an announcement about their future Friday night in West Kelowna

The Warriors are staying put in West Kelowna.

After a deal for the team to move to North Delta for next season fell apart earlier this week, the Warriors announced they are staying in West Kelowna on Friday night, during the first intermission of their first round BCHL playoff series.

Warriors director of business operations Alex Draper said a grass-roots effort worked their butts off to raise money from local investors in an attempt to keep the team in West Kelowna.

Since news broke that the Warriors may move, fans rallied, appearing at West Kelowna council for support and holding a community rally.

Draper said without that support, the team would not have been saved.

At the rink on Friday night, fans were over-joyed with the news and the crowd jumped up and cheered when Draper made the announcement.

Celine Lapointe said she almost cried when she heard it.

“I’m so excited,” she said.

Dave Cutler said he did not think the team would stay but called the news wonderful.

“It’s a last minute comeback,” he said.

Warriors owner Mark Cheyne has been looking to sell the team after years of losing money.

A potential sale to North Delta was pulled off the table earlier this week and fans of the team held a rally while trying to raise local investors to keep the team in West Kelowna.

Despite winning the RBC Cup, the Canadian Junior A Championships, last year, attendance fell this year.

But in the end, the Warriors found local investors and junior A hockey is alive in West Kelowna.

West Kelowna Warriors

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