PEI

Basketball league sorry for Island Storm scheduling mixup

The National Basketball League of Canada is apologizing for cancelling the Island Storm's annual Boxing Day game at the Eastlink Centre.

Storm's opponent was mistakenly told game started at 7 p.m.

Audley Stephenson says the league is still working on a makeup date for the game that was cancelled on Boxing Day at the Eastlink Centre. (Twitter)

The National Basketball League of Canada is apologizing for cancelling the Island Storm's annual Boxing Day game at the Eastlink Centre.

Every year the team has a 2 p.m. game the day after Christmas. But this year fans were left disappointed and confused when that game didn't happen.

Audley Stephenson, deputy commissioner of the NBL, said because of a scheduling error, the Storm's opponent, the Saint John Riptides, believed the game was at 7 p.m.

Stephenson said the error was discovered too late to get the team to Charlottetown on time.

It's regrettable and one that we're extremely sorry about and something that we never want to see happen ever again.— Audley Stephenson

"It's a grievous error," he said. "The fact that our fans were impacted the way they were on an annual game such as this, it's regrettable and one that we're extremely sorry about and something that we never want to see happen ever again."

Stephenson said the league has gone through the schedule for the rest of the season to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"This is the first time we've experienced anything like this," he said.

The league didn't confirm how many tickets were sold for the game or how many people were turned away at the box office on Boxing Day.

Bob Boyle, manager of concessions at the Eastlink Centre, says it will be difficult to make up the sales lost from the Boxing Day game. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

Bob Boyle, the operator of the concession stand at the Eastlink Centre, said they lost about $5,000 in sales because of the cancelled game, which is annually one of the most popular on the Storm calendar.

"Those sales, there will be a makeup game, but it will never be the same as that event," he said.

The league says it's unsure when the game will be rescheduled, but intends to let fans know as soon as possible. The Storm's next home game is Dec. 31 at 6:30 p.m. against the Moncton Magic.

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With files from Nicole Williams

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