Peter Haugan, All Native Tournament organizer, said the choice to postpone the event was because of ongoing COVID-19 concerns and to give teams and communities time to be ready for the event. (Photo: Norman Galimski/The Northern View)

Peter Haugan, All Native Tournament organizer, said the choice to postpone the event was because of ongoing COVID-19 concerns and to give teams and communities time to be ready for the event. (Photo: Norman Galimski/The Northern View)

All Native Basketball Tournament postponed

Event struggling to find sponsors

The All Native Basketball Tournament has been postponed to March 27, event organizers announced on Jan. 7.

After the 10 tournament committee members met on Jan. 7, they decided to push back the Feb. 12 start date due to the worsening COVID-19 situation.

“The committee wanted to give communities a lot of time to be ready for this,” Peter Haugan, tournament organizer, told The Northern View, on Jan. 10.

Registered teams welcomed the news of the delay, he said. The competition draws teams and visitors from all over North America.

“They’re all happy that we moved it back because they want to have the All Native — they just don’t want it to be an unhealthy environment,” Haugan said.

More than 50 teams have registered for the event so far. However, the tournament’s future remains “iffy” should it fall through.

“What I mean by iffy is it’s going to need funds from somewhere,” Haugan said.

This year’s tournament has fewer sponsors than previous years, with only $50,000 worth of sponsorship raised so far.

“We used to run on fan support. The fan support has been great, but we haven’t upped ticket prices because we’ve had sponsorship. The only other place to get [money] would be ticket prices, and we don’t want to raise ticket prices,” Haugan said.

A ticket for one session, which is three to six games depending on the venue, costs $8, with the season ticket costing $150 to see each of the more than 100 matches.

“The tournament had to seek out a [$40,000] loan to keep the lights on this year,” Haugan said.

Without the tournament, there are operating costs that remain stagnant just to stay functioning including paying for office space and utilities.

The tournament typically sees more than 5,000 fans in attendance per day and generates about $300,000 dollars for the organization.

For teams still wishing to register, the deadline for entry fees and rosters is March 4. For more information people may contact Peter Haugan at 250-624-1690 or email: peterhaugan@yahoo.com.

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Norman Galimski | Journalist 
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