Wednesday, August 26th, 2009
Bringing the Vets back tonight ?
The campaign to bring back the Woodstock Navy Vets begins this afternoon, but if ticket sales are any indication, the public isn't buying.
Woodstock Renegades owner Bill McLeod said Tuesday evening about 50 tickets have been sold for the trio of games, which includes four decades of Navy Vets alumni teams and an exhibition game between the Renegades and Burford Bulldogs.
"I don't know that I'm the one disappointed," McLeod said. "I think the alumni they are coming out to support are disappointed."
McLeod took over the team three years ago from Steve Barber and, for legal reasons, changed the Junior C club's name to the Renegades prior to the 2007-08 season.
"The concept behind this was let's raise enough money for jerseys," he said. "A good set would cost eight thousand to 10 thousand to re-suit the team."
Originally, McLeod said several hundred tickets would need to be sold in order to pay for new jerseys, but he wasn't deterred by the sluggish start to the campaign.
"I wouldn't say it's over," he said. "It's the kickoff to it. Maybe this is stage one of getting heard by alumni."
The Oxford County Naval Veterans Association had its say this week about the possibility of the team returning to its namesake.
"As far as we're concerned we don't own the name," Navy Club president Rick D'Entremont said. "If they want to use it they are able to use it. We're not going to support them at all financially. Being a private club, we're non-profit. There wasn't really any talk about it."
D'Entremont once again expressed the club's lingering bitterness over having the name changed in the wake of Barber's demise, but he didn't close the door on a future partnership with the team should it return as the Navy Vets.
"We'd be willing to listen to anybody," he said, "but at this time that's what the executive feels."
McLeod said it was too early to say whether the team will revert to its roots either this season or beyond, but added there is growing popularity for the Renegade brand.
"The attendance has gone up and I've gotten e-mails from people to keep the name," he said. "I'd say it almost equals the number of tickets sold."
McLeod plans to speak with alumni after the games to get their opinion.
"I'm just about the hockey, not the name," he said. "If we have good hockey and represent Woodstock with Woodstock kids (then) that's what it's about. I couldn't care less what the name is."
Tickets are $10 and include all three games. They can be purchased at Intersport, Crabby Joe's and Southwood Arena.
5 p.m. -- 70s Vets vs. 80s Vets
6:30 p.m. -- 90s Vets vs. 2000s Vets
8 p.m. Renegades vs. Burford Bulldogs