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Windsor Spitfires to Host 2017 Memorial Cup
- Updated: May 2, 2016
For the first time since 1981, Windsor, Ontario will host the MasterCard Memorial Cup in 2017.
The 99th edition of the annual tournament features champions of the Ontario (OHL), Quebec Major Junior (QMJHL) and Western (WHL) hockey leagues will meet the host Spitfires May 18-28, 2017, at Windsor’s WFCU Centre.
“We are extremely proud to be chosen to host the 2017 MasterCard Memorial Cup,” Spitfires President Bob Boughner said. “It has been a dream since day one of our ownership to bring this prestigious event to Windsor. We are very excited to give our loyal fans, who have faithfully supported the Spitfires, an opportunity to experience the pinnacle of junior hockey. Thank you to Commissioner David Branch and the bid committee for entrusting in our ability as host. We’ll strive to make it unforgettable.”
Windsor made their presentation to the site selection committee April 18, which comprised of five leaders in the sports industry including Paul Beeston (Former Toronto Blue Jays President & CEO), Colin Campbell (NHL Executive Vice President & Director of Hockey Operations), Jim Gregory (NHL Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations), Gord Kirke (OHL Legal Counsel), and Scott Moore (President, Sportsnet & NHL Properties).
While speaking to reporters, Branch declined to mention other cities that bid for the event but did say Windsor had competition.
Seating 6,500, the WFCU Centre opened in December 2008. Since it’s opening, the Spitfires previously bid for the Aside from two previous bid attempts, Windsor had also bid for the Memorial Cup the last two times it was the OHL’s turn in 2011 and 2014. The 2011 event was awarded to Mississauga while the 2014 tournament went to London. Windsor has hosted other top-level junior events in recent memory, having hosted a Canada-Russia SuperSeries game twice, the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, the OHL all-star game and the CHL/NHL Top Prospects game.
This year’s event will take place in Red Deer, Alberta beginning May 19. Currently the three leagues are determining their representatives for the Memorial Cup. In the WHL, Seattle will face Brandon, the OHL has London playing Niagara and the QMJHL puts top seeds Rouyn-Noranda and Shawinigan against each other. Shawinigan is the most recent host to win the Memorial Cup, doing so in 2012.