Red Deer Rebels seeking $400K from city for Memorial Cup bid

The Red Deer Rebels hope the city will pitch in $400,000 to support their bid to host the Memorial Cup in 2016.

The Red Deer Rebels hope the city will pitch in $400,000 to support their bid to host the Memorial Cup in 2016.

If the bid is successful, it would be the second major sporting event to come to Red Deer over the next five years, the other being 2019 Canada Winter Games.

At Monday’s regular meeting, Red Deer city council will debate a request for financial support from the Western Hockey League team. The team is bidding for the 2016 major junior national championship tournament, along with the Vancouver Giants.

The Rebels have requested a cash contribution from the city in the form of a grant worth $200,000 and a guarantee of an additional $200,000 in 2016.

If approved, the up-front cash contribution would be spread over two years with $100,000 coming from the 2015 operating reserve budget. This means the 2016 operating reserve budget would supply $300,000: $100,000 as the second part of the grant and the final $200,000.

According to organizers, the 10-day event is estimated to generate an economic impact of about $17 million.

A report to city councillors says that hosting the Memorial Cup will also assist in preparing the community for the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

The Rebels previously bid to host the 2013 Memorial Cup. They asked for a guarantee of $300,000 from the city, which was provided. Saskatoon won the bid to host the event that year.

The Memorial Cup features the champions of the three Canadian Hockey League components: the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League, plus the host city’s team.

An Alberta city has not hosted the Memorial Cup since 1974, when it was in Calgary. The Rebels last made the Memorial Cup in 2001, when they won.

The winning bid will be announced by the CHL early in the 2014-15 season.

In other matters coming to council on Monday:

l Councillors will be asked to allocate three years of grants from the Canadian government’s homelessness partnering strategy.

Under the recommended distribution of the grant, housing first programs will get $84,756 in the first year and $166,247 in each of the next two. Services for those at risk of imminent homelessness get $56,504 in the first year and $110,831 in each of the next two. Aboriginal housing first gets $11,571 in the first year and $23,171 in each of the following two. And aboriginal services for those at risk of imminent homelessness gets $46,283 in the first year and $92,683 in each of the following two years.

l Second and third reading will be given to a structure plan bylaw outlining the proposed northeast high schools and play fields area. The site, located east 67th Street and 30th Avenue is envisioned as the location for three high schools: Catholic, public and Francophone.

The site is adjacent to a planned sports and recreation fields. The Red Deer Regional Catholic Division has funding approved from the Alberta government to build a high school. A city report estimates it could take 10 to 25 years to fully develop the site.

The city council meeting starts at 2:30 p.m. on Monday at Red Deer City Hall, at 4914 48th Ave.

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