Kingston; 5700 capacity/89 restaurants & 8 hotels within 10 min Walk
The Leon’s Centre has a capacity of 5,700 and has broadcast facilities that have been used for televised national events in the past, such as the 2013 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, the 2015 National Figure Skating Championships, The Tragically Hip’s final concert in 2016 and, most recently, the 2020 Brier.Inside the arena there is space for fans to gather, take part in many activities and there are plenty of food and beverage options. It also has 29 private suites on Level 4, a lounge area on Level 3 and various rooms for team coaches and league officials.
One advantage Kingston may have is the arena’s downtown location. According to information provided by the Downtown Kingston Business Improvement Area, there are 89 restaurants and eight hotels within a 10-to-12-minute walk from the Leon’s Centre.
As well, the parking lot across The Tragically Hip Way could be partially used for a fan festival area, similar to the Brier Patch tent that set up across from the Leon’s Centre in February 2020 during the national men’s curling championship. It was a big success and was well attended by fans.
“As well, with the Memorial Cup being held in late May, Kingston’s tourist businesses and attractions will be up and running in the warm weather, so out-of-town fans would have plenty to do.” The Kingston-Whig Standard
Hounds Had Their Turn/Niagara Doesn't Have Tools To Contend
Originally when I found out that Wayne Gretzky was a minority owner in the Niagara Ice Dogs and put their bid into hosting the Mem Cup I was all on board thinking it was a slam dunk.
After seeing them finish the season with the absolute worst record and the impossibility to compete in only a one year turnaround made me rethink my bold assessments from earlier this season. The other thing that I see as a no chance to compete at the Memorial Cup level is the fact that there is too much pressure on the coaching staff. When an owner of a team has his hands in the cookie jar it isn’t good. It turns out that owner Darren DeDobbelaer is not only the OWNER but he is the GM…..very rare and usually doesn’t go well.
“Then there’s the actual team. It’s a mess. There’s no way anyone could have any serious expectations that this team, the way it’s currently run, could be anything other than a new Dukes of Hamilton for the OHL. Their record this season is a pitiful 12-45-8. A -149 goal differential. They made over 30 trades and had three head coaches. The owner named himself GM, which is never, ever, ever, a good sign, and ran the team while also running TWO OTHER TEAMS. And they all stunk. There is no consistency to anything being done in this franchise, and it’s a small, petty thing, but they don’t even put out food for visiting media & scouts. It’s bush league, Jr C level competence in the Meridian Centre, and the bid for the Memorial Cup is a dog & pony show being done to distract local fans from the disaster on the ice. Maybe if things settle down, they can build something for the next time the OHL hosts the tournament in 2027…Maybe.” (Adam Seldo PensionPlanPuppets.com )
HERE IN THE SOO Soo we had a similar situation where owner Sam Biasucci had his Brother in Law as Coach in John Vanbiesbrouck and that fiasco regarding Trevor Daly not only embarrassed the team but did it on a NATIONAL Level,
Sticking to this…it was pretty much obvious that the pressure from the Brother In Law to John had made a mockery of our goaltending situation and Joe from what I heard was a great kid….but not a OHL caliber goalie. The fans lost money on games where by having Joe play more games when there was a better goalie to play was like game fixing or at the least gambling.
Anyway….the bid a few years ago before the C19 bullshit started offered the Hounds the best chance to get the hosting rights. Both the Dogs and Generals have hosted before so it was a 50/50 chance. The Hounds also had a coaching tandem that was one of the best in hockey and had a dynamite team to put forward. I think that was the Hounds chance.
With the loss of Jordan Smith, Jamie Tardif and a young a week team…..even with all of the Raftis magic to assemble a good club and trade away our top 4 pick for seasoned players would be still hard to get these kids at championship level by next May.
SAGINAW SHOULD NOT BE IN THE MIX
Although Saginaw has been a good addition to the league; they should not ..nor any American franchise be permitted to host the Cup. The revenue from these events go to local restaurants, local hotels, local retail businesses so let’s keep it here. Ontario was going to host the tournament a couple of years ago as it was between Oshawa and the Soo….at the least make sure the Mem Cup is played in Ontario.
My Analytical Reaction as Opposed to my Emotional One
Earlier this year I didn’t do my homework and now I have. Emotionally I thought nobody would say no to a Wayne Gretzky backed bid…..now I can see how this can be true.
With the fact that two of the four bidders literally were the worst teams in the league: why would you reward that team and city the privilege to host the cup? There is no reason.
Handing over the Cup the the Spirit in Michigan with a decent fanbase would not be something that would sit well. First of all there are bs hassles for regular people to go to and from the US, the $US exchange is higher; Canadian hockey parents and fans that would be coming from these Canadian Cities and in a terrible economy thanks to all level of govt’s Canadians will not support this.
I do believe that Kingston has ticked all the boxes and will host the Cup. That is my final so called Predictions