The Regina Pats will host the 100th Memorial Cup.
After a competitive bid process, the Canadian Hockey League announced the news on Saturday night.
“Today’s a wonderful day,” said Anthony Marquart, governor of the Pats ownership group said from Moose Jaw. “It’s been our mind for almost three years, the opportunity to potentially secure the 100th Memorial Cup tied into our 100th year.”
The bid committee, which was led by Shaun Semple, made their presentation to the selection committee three weeks ago. Marquart said between then and now there’s been some tense moments.
“I wish I could say I was calm and cool and collected, certainly that wasn’t the case,” he said.
Marquart knew they made an excellent presentation to the selection committee, but he didn’t doubt that the other teams in the running also made impressive pitches.
“It’s wonderful to have the event here in the end.”
The Pats beat out the Oshawa Generals and Hamilton Bulldogs.
Regina last hosted the Memorial Cup in 2001. The junior hockey championship will be held at the Brandt Centre May 17-27, 2018.
“Our local team worked hard to put together a great bid, and we are extremely excited, and honoured, to be able to host the 100th Mastercard Memorial Cup,” said Shaun Semple in a release from the league.
Marquart said winning the bid is just a part of the big plans they had for the Regina Pats when the new ownership group, Queen City Sports and Entertainment, took over the team.
“Our goal from the outset was to change the expectations for what the people of Regina could expect of the Regina Pats, not only in a hockey product but entertainment value,” he said. “We in Regina deserve the best. We deserve the best entertainment value, we deserve the best hockey team, so our collective goal is to ensure that’s sustained year after year.”
Semple, who is also President and CEO of the Brandt Group of Companies added, “We’ve got some great ideas and plans, and we look forward to the opportunity to engage with junior hockey fans across the country, as we celebrate this historic centennial year.”
Part of the Regina bid was having an outdoor game at the new Mosaic Stadium, although there’s no official word if that will come to fruition.
With files from Warren Woods and Arielle Zerr