In 2018, a Central City Breakers defender tries to deke out the Chilliwack FC Attack forward during U16 action at Surrey Mayor’s Cup tournament. (File photo: Trevor Beggs)

In 2018, a Central City Breakers defender tries to deke out the Chilliwack FC Attack forward during U16 action at Surrey Mayor’s Cup tournament. (File photo: Trevor Beggs)

‘Shocking decision’: Surrey soccer club won’t offer refunds to teams for cancelled tourney

Registration fees would top $100K for Surrey Mayor’s Cup, called off due to COVID-19

** This story has been updated.

Operators of the Surrey Mayor’s Cup aren’t willing to offer refunds to teams that had signed on to play in this year’s edition of the soccer tournament, and that’s not sitting well with some registrants.

The mid-March tourney was cancelled on short notice due to COVID-19 concerns, impacting teams from across B.C., Alberta, Washington, Oregon and elsewhere.

The event, billed as “B.C.’s premier youth soccer tournament,” is played annually on turf and grass fields across Surrey, and is open to boys and girls teams with players aged six to 17.

The tourney’s host club, Central City Breakers (CCBFC), sent teams a letter saying refunds won’t be available for the cancelled 2020 tournament.

“We regret that we cannot offer refunds given the sudden and Force Majeure nature of cancellation,” says the letter, dated March 25. “Many event organizers are in a similar situation, and are offering to honour fees for a future event. CCBFC will be doing the same and providing no charge registration to the 2021 Mayor’s Cup Tournament for those that registered this year. For teams that are graduated or disbanded, your registration is transferable within your club or to another team.”

The letter adds: “CCBFC is a not-for-profit community soccer club. It is run by volunteers. We do not have the inherent financial capacity or revenue stream to issue refunds.

“We thank all participants for their understanding and look forward to seeing most of you at next year’s tournament.”

• RELATED STORY, from 2015: Surrey youth soccer club red-carded

Tourney registration fees range from $490 to $575 per team, depending on age. With 207 teams registered this year, tourney fees collected would be more than $101,000.

An earlier version of this story reported 350 teams were registered this year, but that number was for a previous year of the annual tournament.

A post on the tournament website (surreymayorscup.com) says “all registrations at Surrey mayors Cup are final. Refunds will only be issued at the discretion of the tournament director.”

At a special meeting on Feb. 11, CCB moved to amalgamate with Surrey Youth Soccer Association.

Surrey Youth Soccer Association held an annual general meeting (AGM) on Sunday (April 5), and the amalgamation was approved, according to Sarb Lidder, club vice-president.

On Twitter, some soccer team reps are angry with the decision by tourney officials to not offer refunds.

A Chilliwack resident, Mike Olson said his daughter’s U18 team would not be back next year.

“Again we are down to a club (CCBFC) that needs to do the right thing,” Olson tweeted from his @Mrolson74 account. “A cancelled tournament requires a refund. Credit for next year with teams not being the same is just a non starter #dobetter.”

Twitter user @BobboOut called it a “shocking decision. Refund the monies, otherwise it’s theft. With 350 teams we’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Added @Jessica73586235 in a tweet: “Provide refunds! Our team composition is not the same next year as it is this year. How am I meant to refund those who won’t be with us next year? Out of MY own pocket? Bullshit. #dotherightthing #badbusiness.”

On March 12, just one day before this year’s Surrey Mayor’s Cup was set to start, BC Soccer advised all members and affiliated clubs to not proceed with sanctioned soccer activity where there will be 250 or more people in attendance, and to limit all non-essential travel outside of Canada.

Contacted Friday (April 3), Surrey FC’s Lidder said this year’s tournament had to be cancelled 12 hours before the first game got started. With the amalgamation in the works, Lidder said she got involved on the tournament committee this year for the first time, to help planning for next year.

“It was tough, and everything was changing to much,” she said. “We originally postponed it because we were looking for different dates and to find another solution to have all the games played, but with everything happening we had to make the decision to hold it next year instead, and to honour full registration next year. It wasn’t an easy decision.”

She said tournament organizers face several costs in advance, including trophies, staff, scheduling and other fees, save for referee and field rental costs.

“The credit was the best way to allow people to come back and enjoy the tournament, because this was a no-win situation,” Lidder said. “We couldn’t offer refunds because we did have some costs up-front, and the tournament was not going to get that money back.

“I don’t think a partial refund would have worked,” she added.

“As clubs, a lot of them will be going through this, with spring seasons up in the air, all that. There are going to be a lot of clubs in this situation, other tournaments, but it’s unfortunate for us because we were the first one to go through it with this large tournament. There will be a lot of clubs issuing credits. We’re seeing it everywhere, not just in sports, it’s airlines, vacations.

“We’re not here to gouge anybody or run away with people’s money, the tournament will go on, they’ll get an opportunity, and that tournament credit can be transferred to other teams. We’ll help facilitate all of that. We’re trying to do the best that we can.”

Reached Monday (April 6), BC Soccer president Kjeld Brodsgaard said organizers of the Surrey Mayor’s Cup were “put into a really bad spot” with the timing of postponement due to the COVID-19 announcement.

“I feel for them because I know they put in a lot of time, effort and money into it, with a lot of things paid for already, and it put them in a tough spot,” Brodsgaard said.

“We haven’t had a lot of calls about this, the lack of refunds, but I think what they’ve done with the Surrey Mayor’s Cup in terms of being allowed to give the fee to another team in a club, it’s transferable,” Brodsgaard added. “To some degree I feel for them, because I know it’s a very successful tournament and extremely well run, because of the number of teams that participate, and I can only imagine that people would understand if they knew about the costs already incurred, and how easy it is to transfer fees paid to another team.”

Meantime, organizers of the postponed SX College Showcase, a tournament that was to be played from April 10-12 at South Surrey Athletic Park and also Burnaby Lake West, will issue credits to teams for the rescheduled event, “or another SX Cup Series event, should the new showcase date not work for your team,” managing director Chris Murphy said in a letter to team managers.

“Unfortunately, this is the best we can do at this time,” Murphy, who runs E11even Management, said in the letter.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

 

 

Coronavirussoccer

Just Posted

Gerry Vowles (left), Michael Cook, and Dave Sinclair were awarded “Dominion Command Presidential Citations” June 17 in Cloverdale. The rare awards were given out for “exemplary service to the Legion.” (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Three B.C. legionnaires awarded ‘Presidential Citations’

Ceremony took place in Cloverdale June 17

A cache of 89 crabs was discovered during a 2018 compliance inspection at South Surrey’s Elgin Park Marina. (Contributed photo)
$7,500 fine for illegal crab harvest discovered in South Surrey

Laird Goddyn found guilty in Surrey Provincial Court following 2018 investigation

City of Surrey photo
Surrey starts Slow Streets pilot project

Speed limits have been reduced in six Surrey neighbourhood zones for one year to monitor impact on residents

Kaushal Parikh raised $2,840 for COVID-19 relief in India during his almost nine-hour run around the new North Delta Secondary School track on Sunday, June 13, 2021. (Submitted photo)
North Delta ultramarathoner raises over $2,800 for COVID relief in India

Kaushal Parikh ran the 90-km virtual Comrades Marathon around the NDSS track in under nine hours

Gymnast Shallon Olsen. (Photo: olympic.ca)
Olympics-bound Surrey gymnast Shallon Olsen enters sports hall of fame – in Coquitlam

She was the youngest member of Team Canada when she made her Olympic debut at Rio 2016

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

Most Read