On several occasions, Rod Brown has been lucky enough to see his St. John Sedogs battle for the Memorial Cup, but this year the season ticket holder is happy to have them back home.
“This is actually my third Memorial Cup because I saw them play in Mississauga, I saw them win it in Mississauga and I also saw them play in Windsor, Ontario, where unfortunately they failed. good,” said Brown, a resident of St. John.
Brown is one of many fans who have brought new energy to the St. John residential area in recent days to host the Memorial Cup.
Memorial Cup: What to expect on and off the ice when St. John takes part
Fans from all over the country came to Port City to play hockey. But it was the host city and its endless list of Memorial Cup events that stole the show.
Yoland Gilbert from Olx Praca came to support his Shawinigan cataract and although he didn’t have too much time to study, first impressions are positive.
“Apart from the game, hockey games, no, not yet, but right now I’m going to Area 506 to visit this place to see what it looks like – looks great,” he said, proudly donning his Cataractes hat.
Since St. John has earned the right to call itself the host of the 2022 Memorial Cup, the organizers have made it clear that it will be something more than hockey.
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Events that began after the extravagant delivery of the trophy by helicopter included events, concerts and performances.
Most of the action – outside of the games – took place at the newly opened Area 506 Waterfront Container Village, where the musicians entertained the fans before shooting the puck.
“We saw the lines waiting to get into our performances that we lined up all over the graffiti alley here at the coastal container village and it was really great to see where people are really excited to go out, enjoy the weather, enjoy the sun and enjoy the hospitality. St. John’s,” said Ray Gracewood, local manager of the Memorial Cup and founder of Area 506.
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According to Gracewood, even fans who were unable to attend the game were able to watch the action from the screen of the container village’s concert venue.
Asked what made St. John’s a success in their hosting duties, Gracewood called their approach a “multi-faceted event” that leveraged all of the region’s strengths to provide something for everyone.
Gracewood believes that the tournament not only helped rebuild St. John’s as a welcoming city, but also helped showcase its venue.
The St. John Sea Dogs beat the Olx Praca Bulldogs 5-3 in the first leg of the Memorial Cup.
“Reviews about the uniqueness of the venue and how cool it is not only in the region but across Canada is a great indicator of the reputation we are going to build,” Gracewood said.
The busy uptown streets are also a bonus for local businesses who are thrilled to be able to welcome residents and tourists.
David Duplisi is CEO of the Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce.
“We’re still seeing all the seats full, but valuations are in excess of $10 million, which is a significant economic impact for our region,” Duplisi said, adding that those numbers are based on how Olx Praca has handled the tournament.
Container Village in Saint John opens its doors to the public
The Memorial Cup is the catalyst that catapults St. John onto the national stage, opening the door for big things to come, Duplisi said.
“Success breeds success and attention, and attraction breeds attention and attraction, so the more successful events we have like this, the easier it becomes to attract more of them.”
However, for many in the Sea Dog Nation, it’s all for nothing if the team can’t hang another championship banner from the rafters. On Saturday, they will continue their quest for the Memorial Cup by playing a match against Shawinigan.
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