Blades get sponsorship funding from Oakville in bid to host 2024 Centennial Cup


Published March 29, 2023 at 12:17 pm

The Oakville Blades have submitted a bid to host the 2024 Centennial Cup. The National Jr. A Championship is normally played over two weeks in May. OAKVILLE BLADES PHOTO

A bid by the Oakville Blades to host the 2024 Centennial Cup got a financial boost from Town Council at its Monday meeting (March 28).

Council unanimously approved a motion that a sponsorship package for the 2024 the national junior ‘A’ hockey championship tournament be funded from the Tax Stabilization reserve and the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) reserve.

The sponsorship money will be incorporated into the 2024 budget.

In 2022, Estevan, Saskatchewan hosted the national event and committed over $150,000 over two years to be top sponsors after being awarded the tournament.

A decision by Hockey Canada as to who will host the tournament in 2024 and 2025 was expected late this month, but has yet to be announced.

“As far as I am aware, the date was pushed out and they have not made a decision yet but are expecting to make one any day,” said Rebekah Stormes, Director of Economic Development.

No news was still good news for Oakville Mayor Rob Burton, who is fully behind the bid.

“That means we’re not out of the game yet,” said Burton.

The 11-day, 10-team tournament is held every May with the championship game broadcast on TSN.

The event, which if hosted by Oakville will be held at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex, would attract a minimum of 42,500 spectators and have over 3082 hotel rooms booked each night. Hockey Canada predicts the economic impact on the team awarded the bid will upwards of $5 million.

“The Tourism board is so excited to be behind this bid and put more money than we ever have before towards this bid,” said Ward 1 Regional and Town Councillor Sean O’Meara, who is chair of Visit Oakville. “It’s just what we are as Oakville and what we want to celebrate and highlight the great infrastructure we have in Oakville and we’re so happy to also be part of this bid.

“Fingers crossed and thank you very much.”

The Oakville Blades play in the Ontario Junior Hockey League.

This year’s Centennial Cup tournament is taking place in Portage la Prairie, MB from May 11 to 21.

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