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Kamloops asked to spend another $200,000 on Memorial Cup upgrades

City staff is recommending council approve the amount at March 28 meeting; city has already committed $940,000
Sandman Centre
Sandman Centre is in downtown Kamloops, next to Riverside Park and along the South Thompson River.

The City of Kamloops is being asked to spend an extra $200,000 on an elevated platform in Sandman Centre for the Memorial Cup tournament that runs from May 26 to June 11.

The pre-designed elevated platform, which would be situated on the east side of the arena, would be used to create private suite spaces for Canadian Hockey League officials, sponsors and broadcast and media partners. It would also create individual team executive spaces, as well as space for the TSN broadcast centre.

City staff are recommending council approve the expenditure and fund it from the city’s gambling revenue fund, which is money the city receives from the two casinos in Kamloops: Cascades and Chances. Each year, the city gets 10 per cent of revenue generated in the two casinos.

The latest $200,000 expense is in addition to $940,000 the city has already spent on upgrades to the downtown arena for the national major junior hockey championship. Previous upgrades included game presentation systems, video production control room/video replay systems, broadcast cable infrastructure, signage, sponsorship and distributed video system and temporary dehumidification and air conditioning units for the Memorial Cup event itself.

The $940,000 cost was funded from community works funds ($445,000), asset management reserve fund ($350,000), gambling revenue fund ($120,000) and the existing operating budget ($25,000).

A report to council from Jeff Putnam, the city’s parks and facilities manager, noted the need for the elevated platform came from discussions with Canadian Hockey League officials, TSN broadcast officials and the Kamloops Blazers Hockey Club. The report stated that the elevated platform requirement was not identified by the Canadian Hockey League during previous facility discussions.

The report does not specify why neither the Canadian Hockey League nor TSN is involved in financing the $200,000 cost.

After the Kamloops Blazers were awarded the 2023 Memorial Cup tourney in May 2022, the city stated the local economic impact could be between $12 million and $15 million.

Kamloops council will review staff’s request on March 28, with the council meeting beginning at1:30 p.m.