- Rod Brown has occasionally had the good fortune to watch his Saint John Seadogs play for the Memorial Cup, but this year the season ticket holder is happy to have them back home.
Rod Brown has had the good fortune to watch his Saint John Seadogs compete for the Memorial Cup on a few occasions, but this year the season ticket holder is pleased to have them back home.
Brown, a Saint John native, said, “This is my third Memorial Cup because I saw them play in Mississauga, I saw them win it there, and I also saw them play in Windsor, Ont., where regrettably they didn’t do as well.”
Brown is one of the many Memorial Cup supporters who have just injected new life into Uptown Saint John.
People who love hockey have gathered in the Port City from around the country. However, the host city and its never-ending schedule of Memorial Cup competitions have monopolized the spotlight.
Although Yoland Gilbert of Montreal hasn’t had much time to explore, his initial views of Shawinigan are favorable. Gilbert traveled there to support his Shawinigan Cataractes.
He proudly wore a Cataractes helmet and remarked, “Other than the game, the hockey games, no, not yet, but right now I’m walking to Area 506 to visit the location to see how it looks – it looks amazing.”
Organizers have made it clear that the 2022 Memorial Cup will be about more than just hockey since Saint John won the right to name itself the host city.
Activities, music, and speakers have been included since the trophy was brought by helicopter.
Outside the games, most of the action has occurred at the freshly inaugurated Area 506 Waterfront Container Village, where performers have delighted spectators before puck drop.
“We’ve seen lineups waiting to go to see our performances, how we have lined down graffiti street here in the waterfront container village, and that’s been a great thing to see,” said Ray Gracewood, a local Memorial Cup event manager and the creator of Area 506. “People are excited to get out, enjoy the weather, the sun, and the Saint John hospitality.”
According to Gracewood, even supporters who couldn’t make it to the game could follow the action on a screen inside the container village concert venue.
Gracewood praised Saint John’s approach as a “multi-faceted event” that made the most of the area’s assets to offer something for everyone when asked what had made Saint John successful in its hosting responsibilities.
Gracewood thinks the competition has helped promote his facility and re-establish Saint John as a hospitable community.
According to Gracewood, “the reaction regarding the venue’s coolness and distinctiveness, not just in the area but across Canada, is a terrific indicator of the reputation we’re about to establish.”
Local establishments have benefited from the busy uptown streets as well, and they are pleased to have the chance to serve both locals and visitors.
The CEO of the Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce is David Duplisea.
Duplisea said, adding that the calculations are based on how Halifax did when it hosted the tournament, “We still see every facility is busy, but estimations are above $10 million, which is a huge economic benefit for our region.”
According to Duplisea, the Memorial Cup acts as a catalyst by elevating Saint John to the national stage and paving the way for future momentous occasions.
“Success breeds success, attention breeds attention, and attractiveness breeds attraction” therefore, the more popular an event like this develops, the simpler it will be to draw in more attendees.
However, if the club cannot hoist another championship banner into the rafters, many in Sea Dogs Nation will consider it all in vain. They will play Shawinigan on Saturday to continue their bid for the Memorial Cup.
Source: CTV News
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