Kamloops Blazers selected to host Memorial Cup tournament next year | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops Blazers selected to host Memorial Cup tournament next year

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Kamloops Blazers

The Kamloops Blazers will be hosting next year’s Memorial Cup tournament. 

The Memorial Cup is awarded to the top team in the Canadian Hockey League, pitting champions against each other from the Western Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, as well as the host city.

“We are very excited to bring back the Memorial Cup to Kamloops after an almost 30-year hiatus,” CHL President Dan MacKenzie said in a media release.

“The Blazers and the City of Kamloops put together a first class bid and will be outstanding hosts.”

READ MORE: Kamloops Blazers goalie signs with New York Rangers

The Kamloops team has played for the Memorial Cup six times since its inception in 1984, and won three titles in the 1990s. It was most recently won in 1995 by a roster that included Shane Doan and Jarome Iginla, who went on to have very successful careers in the NHL.

“On behalf of the Kamloops Blazers owner group and our host organizing committee, we are so pleased to have been able to secure this event for our communities,” Norman Daley, host organizing committee chair said in the release.

“We are ready to engage our fans, partners, and volunteers to make the 2023 Memorial Cup special.”

The Memorial Cup tournament was cancelled the past two years because of the pandemic. 

"The Kelowna Rockets wanted nothing more than to host and win the 2023 Memorial Cup in front of our loyal fans. We are as disappointed as you are to not be able to do so," according to a press release from the Kelowna Rockets.

Kelowna was supposed to host the 2020 Memorial Cup, but the event was cancelled due to the pandemic.

"When we submitted our intent to bid, there was an audit conducted of Prospera Place, commissioned by the Rockets, the City of Kelowna, and the GSL Group, who own, operate and manage the arena. This audit found that there were significant deficiencies that needed to be upgraded for the facility to meet the CHL standards for hosting the Memorial Cup," according to the Rockets.
"Ultimately, an agreement with the Rockets, City of Kelowna, and the GSL Group could not be reached to make the necessary capital improvements to the building. As a result, the building did not meet the minimum standards required to host the event by the CHL, and consequently, the Rockets could not proceed with our bid to host the 2023 Memorial Cup. "

- This story was updated at 9:53 a.m. to include a comment from the Kelowna Rockets.

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