2020 Memorial Cup has been cancelled - InfoNews

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2020 Memorial Cup has been cancelled

Chair of the Kelowna 2020 Memorial Cup bid committee and mayoral candidate Tom Dyas (second from left) and Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran (third from left) are pictured in this photo.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Kelowna Rockets
March 23, 2020 - 3:27 PM

The 2020 Memorial Cup, which was set to be held in Kelowna in May, has been cancelled.

“On March 12, 2020, in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Canadian Hockey League, in association with our three regional leagues the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, made the decision to pause our season and last week officially cancelled all remaining regular season games,” said Memorial Cup committee chair Tom Dyas in a news release.

The Memorial Cup was scheduled to be held May 22 to 31.

“Unfortunately, given the troubling state of our global climate and public welfare, there is still too much risk and uncertainty to move forward in good conscience,” Dyas said.

“We are truly devastated to not be bringing this event to Kelowna in May,” he said. “We’ve been working so hard with our local committee, partners, sponsors and volunteers over the last year and having to cancel this event is something that we never expected. We know that the health and safety of the community needs to come first, so we are supportive of the CHL’s decision to cancel the 2020 Memorial Cup.”

Bruce Hamilton, owner, president and general manager of the Kelowna Rockets, said it was a tough decision but feels like it was the right one to make.

“The CHL is now looking forward with hope that next season will provide new opportunity to celebrate, and that the Memorial Cup will be presented at our prestigious national championship, hosted by the OHL in May, 2021,” Dyas said.

Kelowna was awarded the tournament in the fall of 2018, and was optimistic about the impact a 10-day event would have on the city.

Beyond junior hockey games, numerous fan events were planned and country music star Brett Kissel was to headline a concert on the tournament's final weekend.

It marks the second major sports event Kelowna has lost because of COVID-19. Earlier this month, officials cancelled the world mixed doubles and senior curling championships, scheduled for April.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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