By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express
The city’s finance committee has voted to refer a request back to staff from the Oshawa Generals for financial aid in the team’s Memorial Cup bid.
The hope is that staff will be able to provide council with a breakdown of requested upgrades the city would be contributing for improvements to the Tribute Communities Centre.
Overall, the team has requested $350,000 in kind and cash value from the city to help with the bid.
In a letter to council, general manager Roger Hunt writes the funds will be in addition to the letter of support already provided. The city has received the list of upgrades requested for the stadium.
“As you have been made aware this is an excellent opportunity for the city to be able to provide our fans, the businesses of Oshawa and the region an excellent chance to reboot following this terrible time,” he writes.
He hopes to see Oshawa and Durham open up “to fans from around the world” with the Memorial Cup. However, he notes it will need to be addressed quickly as the tournament is scheduled to occur in the next 11 months.
During committee deliberations, Ward 5 City and Regional Councillor Brian Nicholson and Ward 3 City and Regional Councillor Bob Chapman both wanted to know about the upgrades, and followed their inquiry up with a motion presented by Nicholson for a staff report on the items, costs and projected revenues from hosting the cup.
According to Hunt, the upgrades needed for the Tribute Communities Centre include adding space to the press box and video replay room. He adds they also hope to see some temporary tournament facilities added to the arena.
Ward 1 City and Regional Councillor Rosemary McConkey wanted to know if a similar request had been sent to the region.
“The letter refers to the Region of Durham and I don’t know if anyone at the city knows if any similar request from the Oshawa Generals is going to the region,” she says.
She also asked how much the city contributed to the team’s previous bid in 2018. Ward 5 City Councillor and committee chair John Gray told her staff will look into those questions as well.