‘Once in a lifetime opportunity’: 2024 Memorial Cup coming to Saginaw

A major hockey championship is coming to mid-Michigan!
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 6:58 PM EDT
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) - A major hockey championship is coming to mid-Michigan!

“We’re looking forward to putting on our best face and showing the world what we have to offer,” Saginaw Spirit President and managing partner Craig Goslin said.

It’s the first time since the 90′s that the Canadian Hockey League’s Memorial Cup will be hosted in the U.S., and by the Saginaw Spirit, no less.

Related: Saginaw Spirit to host CHL Memorial Cup in 2024

“The Memorial Cup coming here to Saginaw is a dream come true. We’ve always wanted to win the Memorial Cup, and now we’ve got that opportunity as the host team,” Goslin said.

He said this will be one of the biggest sporting events ever in the area with it televised across all of North America.

“Our community will be on display for all to see throughout Canada and the U.S. and internationally as well,” Goslin said.

Beyond prestige, there’s the benefit to area businesses. TV5′s James Felton was live at the Dow Event Center to talk about some of those benefits.

According to the agenda from the Saginaw County Board of Commissioners meeting on Jan. 17, the estimated economic impact from this event will be at least $24 million.

The Memorial Cup will take place for 13 days from May 22 to June 3, 2024. It is estimated that there will be more than 4,500 over-night stays in area hotel rooms tied to this event, and of course, all those people have to eat. TV5 was told there will be entertainment, a fanfest, concerts, and celebrity appearances.

Community leaders are now focusing on preparation. County Controller Robert Belleman said the Dow will require up to $8.5 million in upgrades.

“We have to make some substantial improvements to the Dow, especially in the visitors’ locker room, the media suite and some of the suites we have to offer during the event, but we’re excited to make the improvements because they will have returns to the county beyond just the Memorial Cup,” Belleman said. “We’ll be able to host other events, concerts, at the Dow, so it’s really an opportunity to showcase this great venue in downtown Saginaw.”

The upgrades will include more suites, bathrooms for suites, and elevators to the venue’s mezzanine level.

Belleman and Goslin agree you can’t overstate the importance of landing the cup.

“We’re so excited to be a part of it, Saginaw County, as the owner of the Dow Event Center, a publicly supported event center to be part, an integral part, of this is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Belleman said.

“This is Canada’s national championship. This is like the NCAA Final Four in basketball,” Goslin said. “So this is an amazing opportunity for the community to showcase some the really neat amenities we have throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region.”

The only other U.S. cities that have hosted the memorial cup are Portland, Seattle, and Spokane, Washington.

The Memorial Cup has been around since 1919 and this will be only the fourth time an American city has been the host. Portland, Seattle, and Spokane, Washington were the other sites.

Get ready for a lot of hockey at the Dow Event Center in 2024!

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