City Council is backing a bid for the Lethbridge Hurricanes to host the 2020 MasterCard Memorial Cup tournament.
Council members voted today to approve a request by the Lethbridge 2020 Memorial Cup Bid committee to provide $1 million ($750,000 cash plus $250,000 in-kind) in support if the local bid is successful. Every spring, the 10-day tournament brings together the champions of the Western Hockey League (WHL), the Ontario Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League to compete for the Memorial Cup, the pinnacle of junior hockey in Canada. The projected total economic impact of hosting the event is estimated at $12.9 million.
"Hosting the 2020 Memorial Cup would be a major achievement for Lethbridge and would showcase our community to the entire country," says Mayor Chris Spearman. "We commend the local organizing committee and wish them the very best as they compete for the right to host this prestigious event in our city. Lethbridge has a rich history of successfully hosting major sporting events, thanks in large part to our enthusiastic and experienced volunteer base."
The request will be funded from the Municipal Revenue Stabilization Reserve as a one-time allocation from 2015-2018 operating budget surpluses. If Lethbridge is announced on Oct. 3, 2018 as the successful bid, the $750,000 cash portion would be paid in installments as follows:
- $250,000 on Oct. 3, 2018
- Additional installments of $250,000 each on Apr. 1, 2019 and Jan. 2, 2020.
In addition, the $250,000 in-kind investment during the event would cover facility costs for the ENMAX Centre and the Lethbridge Soccer Centre as well as equipment and labour costs for set up and take down.
The Memorial Cup was established a century ago to honour Canadian soldiers and was rededicated in 2010 to also honour the memories of all fallen Canadian military personnel. The 2020 Memorial Cup will be the 102nd undertaking of the event.
Gerald Gauthier, Communications Consultant
City of Lethbridge