Kenora hosts expect Allan Cup to provide million-dollar economic impact
Originally posted By Garett WIlliams, Daily Miner & News
It’s been a century since a Kenora hockey team first competed for Sir Montague Allan’s cup. Kenora first iced a team in the national Senior AAA championships in 1911. They returned in 1914. The next year, their rink burned down and they took some time off.
Now, the Kenora Senior AAA Thistles are gearing up to host the 103rd edition of the six-day, six-team, 11-game Allan Cup Senior AAA championship.
While the estimated cost of the event is more than $300,000, sponsorship chairman Frank Bastone said hosting the series is a good tourism opportunity and projected a spin-off economic impact in the $1-million range, based on studies of previous events in Kenora and Sault Ste. Marie. The committee organizing the event, which includes nearly everyone who sat on the 2004 National Midget Championship committee, unveiled its ticket and sponsorship packages and a new logo at the Super 8 Thursday.
Single game tickets will run $15, gold medal championship tickets run $20 and a series pass, which grants entry to every game plus the championship — which will be broadcast nationally by TSN2 — will go for $125.
The committee’s ticket chairman, Brenda Zilinzki, said she is still awaiting approval for the scheme from Hockey Canada but expects to begin selling series passes Oct. 15 and single-game tickets early in the new year.
Sponsorship packages range from a $500 supporter donation to the $10,000 diamond package. Sponsorship chairman Frank Bastone said he has four camera-view sections along the boards, two each for diamond and platinum packages. Sponsorship package information is available online at here.
The committee’s chairman, Judy Bain, announced the Stanley Cup will be in town for two days during the tournament, along with a rented display from the Hockey Hall of Fame, including artifacts from the Thistles’ 1907 championship.
Renovations are nearly complete on Thistles Rink, which got a face-lift with new boards, glass, lighting and rounded-out corners for the April 11-16 event.
A surprise announcement came from area-chiropractor Gary Marsh who unveiled the giant rat mascot he’ll morph into for the season. A throwback, he said, to the Rat Portage days. Marsh said he’ll donate his time at hockey games all winter, from high school to the Midget AAA Thistles to the senior club in its run toward the tournament, to promote hockey in the community. He said he went to a Thistle game after he moved here a few years ago and was disappointed to see a crowd of only 50-something and plans to to drum up support for local hockey with the yet-to-be named mascot. “I’m going to do whatever I can to get people in the arena,” he said. “I can’t do it all by myself but I want to do what I can.”