Kitchener, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that the city of Kitchener, Ontario and the Kitchener Rangers will host the 2008 MasterCard Memorial Cup.
Five OHL member teams made presentations to host the 2008 MasterCard Memorial Cup, including Kitchener, the London Knights, Oshawa Generals, Saginaw Spirit and Sarnia Sting. The presentations were made to the 2008 MasterCard Memorial Cup Site Selection Committee on April 18, 2007, in Toronto.
"The city of Kitchener and the Rangers are regarded as one of the premier Major Junior centres in the country and it is only fitting that they are granted to host the 2008 MasterCard Memorial Cup, "stated OHL Commissioner David Branch. "The MasterCard Memorial Cup has enjoyed unprecedented growth over the past number of years and we are extremely confident that the Kitchener Rangers and the City of Kitchener will continue to enhance the prominence of the Memorial Cup Tournament and will prove to be gracious hosts of this very prestigious event."
The 2008 MasterCard Memorial Cup Site Selection Committee is comprised of Paul Beeston, former CEO of Major League Baseball, Frank Bonello, former Director of Central Scouting for the National Hockey League, Brian O'Neill, Consultant for the National Hockey League and Jim Gregory, Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations for the National Hockey League. OHL Commissioner David Branch and Gord Kirke are non-voting members of the committee.
"Being named as the host city of the 2008 MasterCard Memorial Cup is an honour and it is gratifying to see the bid committee rewarded for their efforts," said Kitchener Rangers Chief Operating Officer, and Chairman of the Host Committee, Steve Bienkowski. "We are committed to making this a successful and fun National Championship. Our region's hospitality and support of junior hockey is well known and we look forward to welcoming the teams and fans to Kitchener next year."
The city of Kitchener has previously hosted the Memorial Cup in 1975 and 1984, while the Rangers were victorious in the tournament in 1982 and 2003.
The 2008 MasterCard Memorial Cup in Kitchener will mark the 90th anniversary that the Memorial Cup will be competed for as a symbol of national junior hockey supremacy in Canada.
The 2008 MasterCard Memorial Cup will take place from May 16-25, 2008.
Members of the Kitchener Rangers host committee will travel to Vancouver, BC for a site visit during the 2007 MasterCard Memorial Cup.