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

Seeds of Change Surrey to launch two new programs

United Way of the Lower Mainland donated $77,000

White Rock RCMP to host free bicycle registration clinic

Stolen registered bicycles are easier to return to proper owner if recovered

White Rock Concerts subscription series plans to weather pandemic

The White Rock Concerts series cancelled its 2020-21 season due the uncertainty of health risks

Surrey firefighters extinguish blaze near Fraser Surrey Docks

Crews used aerial truck to contain Friday evening fire

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Fraser Valley Bandits clinch playoff spot with win

Bandits down Niagara River Lions 70-57 on Sunday, improve to 3-2

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Travel restrictions inspiring co-operation in border communities

Small border towns are asking for exemption to travel ban

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

VIDEO: One wounded in Maple Ridge gun battle

Two vehicles reportedly traded shots while driving down street

Most Read

l -->