Mississauga, Ontario – The Ontario Hockey League announced Monday that the city of Mississauga, Ontario, and the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors hockey club will host the 2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup.
The 93rd edition of this prestigious national championship takes places May 20-29, 2011, at the Hershey Centre and marks the first time the games will be hosted in the Greater Toronto area since the current tournament format began in 1972. The event will feature the Majors (host team) and champions of the OHL, Western Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Four OHL clubs – the Majors, Barrie Colts, Kingston Frontenacs and Windsor Spitfires were all considered following their formal bid presentations to the site selection committee on April 14 in Toronto.
“The Ontario Hockey League is extremely pleased and excited to award the 2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup to the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors,” said OHL Commissioner David Branch. “The St. Michael’s Majors organization is steeped in a tradition of excellence and is highly regarded within the Canadian Hockey League and it is appropriate that they have the opportunity to host this very prestigious event. The city of Mississauga and the Greater Toronto Area is such an enormous market for hockey at all levels and we are confident that this event will excite fans in this area and enhance the experience for fans across the entire CHL.”
The committee is comprised of Toronto Blue Jays President and former CEO of Major League Baseball Paul Beeston, former NHL Executive Frank Bonello, Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations for the NHL Jim Gregory and NHL Director of Central Scouting E.J. McGuire. Committee chair Gord Kirke and Branch are non-voting members of the committee.
“The MasterCard Memorial Cup represents the pinnacle of junior hockey in North America. Sixty teams begin the journey every September and only four remain standing in May to battle for one of the most time honoured traditions we have in the game,” said Majors executive vice president Duncan Stauth. “The Memorial Cup represents nearly a century of hockey history and with today’s announcement the Majors hockey club, the Mississauga community and the Greater Toronto Area will have the opportunity to add to that rich legacy in 2011.”
The St. Michael’s Majors relocated to Mississauga for the 2007-08 season after playing ten seasons in Toronto beginning in 1997-98. The organization has been a fixture in Canadian major junior hockey since the program was founded in 1907, when St. Michael’s College School implemented a hockey program. The term “Majors” was first introduced in 1934, the same year the organization captured the first of four Memorial Cup titles. They also won in 1945, 1947 and 1961.
Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion was delighted at the news that the CHL has awarded the Memorial Cup to the Majors.
“We are honoured that Mississauga will be the site of the 2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup,” declared McCallion. “We are proud of the work the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors have put toward earning the rights to host this prestigious event and we look forward to showcasing the talents of these young hockey players from across Canada and the U.S. at our spectacular Hershey Centre arena. We can all look forward to a festival of activities throughout the city as we celebrate the Memorial Cup returning to the GTA.”
Since the round-robin format was introduced in 1972, the OHL has won a total of 13 Memorial Cup championships, including the Spitfires at the 2009 event in Rimouski, Quebec.
“MasterCard would like to congratulate the city of Mississauga and the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors hockey club on their successful bid to host the 2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup,” said Milos Vranesevic, Brand Marketing Director for MasterCard Canada. “We are extremely proud to support the Canadian Hockey League and this prestigious national championship, and are excited to return to Ontario and continue our tradition as title sponsor for the 13th straight year at the 2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup.”
The puck drops on the 2010 Memorial Cup in Brandon, Manitoba, on Friday, when the OHL champion Spitfires take on the host Brandon Wheat Kings. Memorial Cup can be seen live on Rogers Sportsnet and RDS. Members of the Majors’ host committee will travel to Brandon during this event, set for Friday through May 23, where they will have the opportunity to meet the 2010 host committee.
- From OHL news release