Bid­ding for the Memo­rial Cup

Cape Bre­ton Scream­ing Ea­gles an­nounce plan to sub­mit bid to stage the 2012 Memo­rial Cup.

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY GREG MACVICAR gmacvicar@cb­post.com

SYD­NEY — The Cape Bre­ton Scream­ing Ea­gles hope to host what the team pres­i­dent called “the most pres­ti­gious hockey tour­na­ment in the coun­try” dur­ing a press con­fer­ence at Cen­tre 200, Thurs­day.

Paul MacDon­ald con­firmed the lo­cal Que­bec Ma­jor Ju­nior Hockey League team will sub­mit a bid to stage the 2012 Memo­rial Cup.

“Make no mis­take, we need the com­mu­nity to rally around this en­deav­our,” said MacDon­ald, who was joined by Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity Mayor John Mor­gan, En­ter­prise Cape Bre­ton Cor­po­ra­tion CEO John Lynn and Events Nova Sco­tia di­rec­tor Grant MacDon­ald dur­ing his an­nounce­ment.

“ We’re quite con­fi­dent we’re go­ing to win.”

The most press­ing is­sues for the Scream­ing Ea­gles with re­spect to host­ing the Memo­rial Cup are pre­par­ing a bud­get, com­plet­ing ren­o­va­tions at Cen­tre 200 and hav­ing a com­pet­i­tive team in place for the 2011-12 sea­son.

“ We’re work­ing through the process of the bud­get,” said Paul MacDon­ald, adding that stag­ing the event would likely cost be­tween $3.5 mil­lion and $4 mil­lion, with that cost to be off­set by ticket sales, spon­sor­ships and gov­ern­ment con­tri­bu­tions, none of which has been nailed down.

Ren­o­va­tions at Cen­tre 200, slated to be com­pleted this fall, in­clude in­creas­ing seat­ing to about 5,000, 13 new sky­boxes, club seat­ing and work to the con- ces­sion area. A $700,000 video score­board has al­ready been in­stalled.

“I think Cen­tre 200 fits per­fectly for the Memo­rial Cup,” said the Ea­gles pres­i­dent when asked if 5,000 seats is enough, adding that the 10-day event would likely at­tract 2,000 vis­i­tors. “ We’re comfortable.”

He added the Scream­ing Ea­gles or­ga­ni­za­tion is con­fi­dent it will ice a com­pet­i­tive team come 2011-12, an im­por­tant point in that the host squad au­to­mat­i­cally gets a spot in the tour­na­ment.

“One of your ma­jor cri­te­ria is your hockey club,” said Paul MacDon­ald. “ That would be the thing that we’re go­ing to work on the most. We had to give up some as­sets to al­low us to be com­pet­i­tive this year. But I know from the hockey staff ’s point of view, they were comfortable in do­ing that. If we’re go­ing to host, we want to win.”

Events Nova Sco­tia, funded by the At­lantic Canada Op­por­tu­ni­ties Agency and the prov­ince with the man­date of help­ing “all Nova Sco­tia com­mu­ni­ties tar­get, at­tract and host ma­jor events,” will pre­pare the Scream­ing Ea­gles’ bid.

Grant MacDon­ald said the other Nova Sco­tia team bid­ding for the 2012 Memo­rial Cup — the Hal­i­fax Moose­heads — hasn’t of­fi­cially asked Events Nova Sco­tia for help with its bid.

“But we cer­tainly wouldn’t rule it out,” he said, adding that the bids would be kept sep­a­rate if the or­ga­ni­za­tion was asked to as­sist both teams.

“ We have en­tered into an agree­ment with the Cape Bre­ton Scream­ing Ea­gles and ul­ti­mately this bid will be their prop­erty,” said Grant MacDon­ald. “ We will put all of our weight be­hind this bid to en­sure that it is suc­cess­ful and that it is winnable.”

Lynn said ECBC will as­sist the Scream­ing Ea­gles fi­nan­cially if its bid is ac­cepted.

“ We don’t know the level of that fi­nan­cial sup­port un­til the bud­get is com­pleted,” said Lynn, adding that ECBC em­ploy­ees will help out with the bid process. “ We will al­lo­cate hu­man re­sources and ex­per­tise to the com­mit­tee to en­sure that the bid as good as it can pos­si­bly be.”

The Memo­rial Cup in­volves the cham­pi­ons of the QMJHL, the West­ern Hockey League and the On­tario Hockey League, along with a host club, com­pet­ing in a round-robin se­ries, with the two top teams play­ing off in a sud­den­death game for the cham­pi­onship.

The 2012 Memo­rial Cup host team will be an­nounced in April of 2011. In ad­di­tion to the Ea­gles and the Moose­heads, the Shaw­ini­gan Cataractes and the Saint John Sea Dogs are said to be in­ter­ested.

The 2010 Mastercard Memo­rial Cup is be­ing held in Bran­don, Man., May 14-23.

Steve Wad­den - Cape Bre­ton Post

Cape Bre­ton Scream­ing Ea­gles pres­i­dent Paul MacDon­ald an­nounced the team will sub­mit a bid to stage the 2012 Memo­rial Cup dur­ing a press con­fer­ence at Cen­tre 200 in Syd­ney, Thurs­day.

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