ATB Financial on board with major sponsorship deal

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:22 AM ET

Puck drop is still more than three weeks away, but all the pieces are starting to fall in place for the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Yesterday, ATB Financial jumped on board as one of the team's major sponsors.

"This gives us a head start on our business plan, it sets a foundation that's solid," said Nick Wilson, vice-president of business operations and alternate governor for the Oil Kings.

"It affords us the ability to take a long-term approach, which is what we want to do.

"Truly, our No. 1 objective is to build the right hockey system to contend and win Memorial Cups and fill a void for Edmonton hockey fans."

Financial terms of ATB's commitment were not disclosed in a media conference held at Millennium Place in Sherwood Park, but Wilson said it's on a scale that he's never seen at the major junior hockey level.

With a major sponsor in place and the success of the Founders Club promotion, things look good heading into the team's home opener on Sept. 20.

There's also plenty of optimism for the on-ice product.

"The Founders Club was a great success," Wilson said. "We have 1,244 memberships sold in two seat packages

"I think that's a great indicator of what the Oil Kings are going to mean to the community."

Playing out of Rexall Place the Oil Kings plan on utilizing just the lower bowl throughout the season. Currently there are no plans to make any special concessions for opening night.

"The lower bowl is just under 6,000 capacity and the suites are all sold and they're about another 750," Wilson said.

"So you could say that ultimately the capacity for opening night is 6,750. I think we'll do well against that."


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