The Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League have expressed their desire to host the 2024 Memorial Cup hockey tournament by bidding on the event, and now it appears Kingston city council could provide a significant financial boost.
In a report heading to council Jan. 17, the city’s Chief Administrative Officer Lanie Hurdle will ask councillors to approve $261,000 in cash and $374,000 in in-kind contributions to offset facility and equipment rental fees, staffing costs and enhanced and extended municipal services across city departments.
The report points to an estimated economic impact of $20.4 million as one of the reasons that the city should contribute to the bid.
It pointed to the success Halifax enjoyed in 2019 when 18,000 out-of-town spectators made their way to that city.
“Staff have been working with Tourism Kingston and the Kingston Frontenacs Hockey Club to identify the requirements and City services needed to host this national championship,” the report reads.
The city is also hoping for any applicable fees through the Fees and Charges By-Law to be exempt, should the Frontenacs be successful in their bid to host the tournament.
It also referenced the fact that the cities of St. Catherines and Sault Ste. Marie contributed $360,000 and $300,000 respectively to their clubs’ bid for the Memorial Cup.
Some of the in-kind contributions the city is seeking include free ice time for practices at the Invista Centre for all four clubs taking part in the tournament. Each team would also have exclusive use of designated dressing rooms for the duration of the tournament.
The teams would also have exclusive access to the fitness facilities and studio at the Invista Centre as well as the aquatic facilities at the Artillery Park Aquatic Centre.
The in-kind funding would lead to a loss of revenue for the city. It anticipates losing $150,000 in ice pad fees at the Invista Centre, and $10,000 from fitness centre fees as well as $14,000 from meeting room fees.
The city would also be on the hook for $32,000 in advertising and sponsorship removal and reinstallation and another $44,000 for contracted services and other expenses.
There would also be a $55,000 loss in parking revenue at the Leon’s Centre and a cost of $40,000 to prep the space for activities related to the Memorial Cup. However, the gravel parking lot would be paved as part of the $40,000 fee.
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