The last time Oshawa hosted the Memorial Cup was in 1987, and to host again would be a major win for the city.
The city’s bids to host the tournament in 2008 and 2018 were both rejected, and Oshawa is now one of the final two bidders for the 2021 tournament.
Currently, the Generals are up against the Soo Greyhounds to host the next cup, and if the Gens were to win the bid, it would be a win for the city too.
At the most recent finance committee meeting, a letter from the team’s general manager Roger Hunt was referred back to staff.
The letter asked council to contribute $350,000 to the team’s bid in order to make upgrades to the Tribute Communities Centre.
Committee members wanted to know what those upgrades are, so they voted to have staff bring back a report detailing the upgrades, how much everything would cost, and projected revenue for holding the event.
Hosting the Memorial Cup can cost millions of dollars. The city would need to prepare for the teams to come, as well as for hockey fans across the country to make their way here.
But more importantly, this would pull in revenue for the city’s economy as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
While this isn’t a unique issue to Oshawa, the city was already in recovery mode after the General Motors plant stopped production in late 2019.
If any city needs a win right now, it’s Oshawa, and hosting the Memorial Cup could be that win.
It would create job opportunities, it would bring revenue for local businesses, and it would give the city a reason to celebrate.
Council should do everything in its power to bring the Memorial Cup to Oshawa.