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Rocky Mountain Turf Club looks to become hub for Warrior Relay races, requests municipal funding

The Rocky Mountain Turf Club is looking for city money to help expand its Warrior relay races. CEO Max Gibb says he wants to develop the sport and make the city known for it. 

He presented to the city’s economic standing policy committee on May 17 and requested support, without a specific dollar figure behind the ask. He showed a budget of $840,000 for each of three years, with the money allocated for administrations, awards, training program, purses/payments for races and other programs.  

Councillor Jeff Carlson asked about revenue, which was not included in the presentation, and questioned how much of the budget the club was looking to get from the city. 

“Obviously we are asking for as much as we can get and I would be honest that we are approaching sponsorships, provincial and federal government and obviously this is a minimum budget — we hope that it will be bigger and better,” Gibb said. “There will be revenue but not extensive revenue.” 

He added the club has held events but is now looking to make Warrior Relays an ongoing sports program, similar to what it does with horse racing. 

Mayor Blaine Hyggen said he would not support purses and payments being paid for by taxpayers and Gibb indicated the club would look to other places to fund that part. 

Councillor Belinda Crowson asked what would happen after three years and if it would become an ongoing cost for the city. 

“We would hope that we could develop it in the three-year period in terms of organization structure, sponsorships and a variety of things — it’s a three year ask,” Gibb said. 

Gibb said the club will continue hosting the races as events and the request is just to expand the industry. 

“I think we all agree it is a great project—it is a matter of process now and anytime we give money to an organization, we need to see revenue and expenses. We owe it to the community, it’s kind of the law we need to do that,” said Councillor Ryan Parker. 

The committee carried a recommendation to have city administration work with the Rocky Mountain Turf Club to explore funding possibilities and report back to council by July 11 this year. 

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