2020 Memorial Cup to be held in Kelowna

Kelowna will officially host the hockey event

Kelowna will turn into a hockey hub from May 22 to 31, 2020 when it’s the host city for the Canadian Hockey League’s national championship tournament — something it hasn’t been since 2004.

Tom Dyas was in Calgary Tuesday for the Memorial Cup bid announcement, as chairperson of the bid committee that included Bruce Hamilton, Gavin Hamilton, Anne-Marie Hamilton, Mayor Colin Basran and Harvey Hubball.

“What an incredible honour it is to be standing here today to know that the Kelowna Rockets will host the 2020 Memorial Cup,” Dyas said, from the podium where the announcement was made.

“We cannot wait to welcome hockey fans to a unique event and that there hasn’t been like it anything else before it.”

Among the main criteria for teams bidding to host the Memorial Cup is guaranteeing a substantial financial return to the Western Hockey League and having adequate infrastructure in place, such as the arena and hotels.

READ MORE: KELOWNA NOW ONE OF THREE

Hamilton, the Rockets president and general manager, said with the Rockets footing the bill for the season-end championship, the club will offer a kickback of somewhere between $1.5 and $2 million to the WHL.

Local economic spin-off may be even greater.

With restaurants, hotels and other businesses in high demand for 10 days, it’s estimated the 2020 championship will pump a minimum of $12 to $15 million into the local economy.

Non-game events in the 2004 event included tents, displays and kiosks surrounding the arena, creating a bona fide, festival-like atmosphere and Hamilton said the Rockets plan to up the ante in 2020.

“We want to sell it as an entire downtown event,” said Hamilton. “We’ve included Tourism Kelowna and the City of Kelowna’s parks department (in the bid)…. they will be a part of making the event a bit bigger than it was in 2004. We want to spread it out beyond just in front of the arena, throughout the downtown. We envision Stuart Park having something, as well as the bandstand behind the Delta Grand.”

The idea, explained Hamilton, is that the tournament will become an event for the entire city to revel in.

“There will only be so many tickets for sale, so we have a whole group of people who won’t be in the building and we want to build an atmosphere outside so they will feel like they are a part of it,” he said.

Mayor Basran said that the next budget will include $225,000 for Memorial Cup events.

“It will be used for community events and to make sure it is welcoming to all residents,” he said.

“I think it’s fantastic. This is going to be a tremendous event, we will be showcased on a national stage and it will be a great boost to our local economy.”

And, at the heart of it all is the Memorial Cup, a trophy that is steeped in Canadian tradition and history.

“The trophy is 101 years old this year,” Hamilton said. “It’s in remembrance of soldiers in the early wars. It has a military component to it.”

And as the tournament has matured over the years, it’s been able to capture attention in a way that many others of its kind have not, by knitting together this country in sport.

RELATED: Kelowna now one of three vying for 2020 Memorial Cup tournament

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

From the Chilliwack Progress Archives: Plecas pitches an idea to fix Canadian prisons

Bringing you highlights from 128 years of Chilliwack Progress news coverage.

MP is urging people to weigh in on MAiD consultation

Online consultation will be taking feedback on assisted dying until Monday, January 27

Court Tuesday for Chilliwack MLA’s former constituency assistant charged with fraud

Fourth court appearance since October for Desmond Devnich who also faces breach of trust charges

Westbound Highway 1 roll-over crash slowing commuters in Abbotsford

Accident occurred just west of Mt. Lehman Road, left lane blocked

Fraser Valley snow storms finally fade

Six snowstorms in seven days pours on more than 40 cm

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Deer carcass strung up at Surrey fire hall prompts investigation

Investigation underway following complaint a Surrey firefighter hung a deer carcass in a fire hall

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Most Read