Rebels hope to host Memorial Cup in 2013

The Red Deer Rebels think they’ve got what it takes to host the Memorial Cup.

The local Western Hockey League club has officially announced its intention to bid for the national major junior hockey championship in 2013 and is in the process of putting together a bid committee.

“We’re in a position now with our hockey club that we believe we can compete at this level,” said Rebels’ President and Owner Brent Sutter.

“We also know our community can support an event of this magnitude. The MasterCard Memorial Cup is one of the biggest hockey events in our country, and we think Central Alberta would be the perfect place to host such a prestigious event.”

Both Westerner Park, home of the Enmax Centrium, and the City of Red Deer are backing the Rebels in their bid for the event.

“The Board of Director and staff of Westerner Park are very excited by the news of the Red Deer bid,” said Michael Donlevy, president of the Westerner Park board of directors.

“We value our strong relationships with Mr. Sutter and the hockey club. Should the bid be successful, the Canadian Hockey League and the Red Deer Rebels can be assured of our strong commitment to offer the best venue, with great service, to everyone who comes to Red Deer to enjoy the MasterCard Memorial Cup in 2013.”

Red Deer Mayor Morris Flewwelling echoed Donleavy’s comments, saying the City would be the perfect place for such a tournament.

“Our community would love the opportunity to showcase our beautiful City, and demonstrate to the CHL and hockey fans all across Canada Red Deer’s passion for this great sport. As mayor, I’m confident Red Deerians would welcome all participants and fans of this tournament with open arms.” said Flewwelling.

Any WHL team wanting to bid to be the host had to give notice to the league by April 1st, and it’s rumoured that Saskatoon, Kelowna, and Lethbridge are also putting together bids, although nothing official has been announced by those clubs.

If more than five cities bid for the Memorial Cup, league officials will review preliminary bid information before short-listing the bids to a maximum of four by June 15 with a final decision being made in October.