Nearly two decades after Memorial Cup was in the Queen City, it’s back, and bigger than ever.
“With it being the 100th anniversary of both organizations, the ownership group and committee really wanted to go over and above,” Neil Donnelly, Memorial Cup events committee chair, said.
“There’s a lot going on, people are going to be busy, and it’s fantastic. It’s a great way to kick off our summer,” Ashley Stone, director of tourism for Tourism Regina, added.
There are 19 concerts during tournament, including Saskatchewan’s The Dead South, The Sheepdogs, and headlining it all, the Eagles.
“There’s miles and miles of trussing and lighting, and curtains, and drape and all that sort of stuff, so it’s really a huge undertaking,” Donnelly exclaimed.
Outside the tournament centre it’s no different.
City crews are making sure streets are cleaned and that there is a shuttle service to the tournament for the 4,000 visitors who expected to fill up downtown hotels.
“We have street teams going around acting as visitor services. So helping folks get around the city, riding shuttles, checking out the hotels, handing out coffee, making sure people know we have that warm friendly welcome here in Regina,” Stone noted.
Tourism Regina ambassadors will also be encouraging visitors to check out the RCMP Heritage Centre Wascana Park, and Casino Regina while they’re here.
Coordinators chose not to involve the Regina Downtown BID, instead they want the excitement to be focused on the action at the Brandt Center, and in Centennial Park.
“We really want to create that atmosphere around the games themselves. The games are ultimately why we’re all here so just creating a celebration around those games is what we’re trying to focus on here,” Donnelly said.
“It certainly helped that the Swift Current Broncos got into the tournament, because the Broncos fans travel very well, and as a result some extra tickets are going to be sold as well, so it’s all falling into place very nicely,” Warren Woods, a sports radio host with CJME, added.
The games kick off Friday night when the Pats take on the OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs.
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