City backs Colts’ bid for Memorial Cup

If all goes according to plan, the 2014 Memorial Cup will be played for in Barrie. On Monday, general committee endorsed a recommendation that a 2014 Memorial Cup Bid Organizing Committee be established to bring the cup here.
The initiative will involve striking a bid committee, to be established by the Barrie Colts, supported by City of Barrie staff. If the bid is successful, the City is prepared to waive Barrie Molson Centre fees in the amount of $122,495. If the cup does come to Barrie, the centre will require expansion: more seats, bigger dressing rooms, a larger restaurant, more suites, and a new exterior marquee sign, subject to conditions:
• The procurement and the contract administration of the project be fully administered by the City of Barrie as the owner of the Barrie Molson Centre using a design-build project delivery approach.
• That the committed funding for the project from the Barrie Colts Junior Hockey Club be received in full by the City prior to the initiation of construction.
• That all additions and installed elements will be owned by the City of Barrie.
An agreement between the City and Horsepower Sports & Entertainment Group Inc. (owners of the Colts) will see the latter contribute $930,000 to the expansion project. If the Colts want to proceed with the project even if the bid fails, the mayor and city clerk will be authorized to execute an agreement in the amount of $1,23 million, subject to the aforementioned conditions.
The Memorial Cup is awarded by the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) to the top junior team in Canada. It involves a round-robin tournament between the host team and champions of the CHL’s three members: the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), the Western Hockey League (WHL), and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). This year’s tournament is set for Saskatoon, May 17-26. Last year the cup was won by the Shawinigan Cataractes.
Barrie can expect significant economic benefits if the bid for the 2014 Memorial Cup is successful, staff informed committee in this report. If 2,000 people from outside the area travel to Barrie for the cup, it’s estimated they will spend more than $1 million for hotel rooms, and $800,000 on food and beverage. The total of $1.84 million excludes tickets sales and spending at retail outlets. Additional spending, such as ticket sales, boosts estimated economic activity to more than $2 million.
Media attention on the tournament may also produce tourism spinoffs, the report continues.

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