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

Better COVID-19 testing results needed in the north

Former senior Northern Health official also wants work camps shut down

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Northern Health preparing ‘for a changing situation’ in response to COVID-19

The health authority is taking a number of measures to free up hospital capacity where possible

COVID-19: Coast Mountain College cancels, postpones programs on Haida Gwaii

General interest and workforce training courses cancelled, field school postponed

UPDATE: Mother of missing Indigenous woman pleads for her safe return

23-year-old Shaylanna Lewis, who also uses the surname Brown, was last seen on March 21

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Cruise ships, one with COVID-19 on board, carry Canadians covertly through Panama Canal

Zaandam, Rotterdam pass through canal under cover of darkness in face of local protests

’The energy sector is destroyed beyond repair’: expert on COVID-19’s impact on economy

‘That’s never been heard of before; no one sells oil for $4 a barrel.’ – Dan McTeague

LifeLabs reducing public hours as it assists with COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus tests not done at B.C. patient centres, referrals only

24,000 Canadian Forces members ready for COVID-19 response: Defence Minister

No direct requests made by premiers yet, national defence minister says

IN DEPTH: How B.C. emptied its hospitals to prepare for COVID-19

Thousands of beds have been freed up, but patients and seniors have had to sacrifice

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Most Read