In Rosetown, people go to the AGT Centre to participate or spectate in curling, hockey and skating pursuits, some competitive and others recreational. This spring however, Rosetown will be unlike any other small town in Saskatchewan. From April 9 to 14, the 2018 Allan Cup will be hosted in Rosetown by the Rosetown AAA Redwings, AGT Centre and Wing Nation.
The Allan Cup is the coveted prize that winners of Canada’s National Senior Hockey Championships have taken home since 1909. Past hosts in Saskatchewan have been the cities of Regina, Melville and Lloydminster. For a community the size of Rosetown (pop. 2,451, census 2016), hosting this national competition will be quite an accomplishment!
I had the opportunity to sit down with Jason Ediger, Rosetown AAA Redwings General Manager and Scott Murdoch, Allan Cup 2018 Committee Chairperson to discuss the work that’s been done to make this happen. Both are very passionate about bringing this opportunity to Rosetown and are quick to acknowledge all the efforts of those involved along the way.
Initially, the Redwings organization considered a bid to host for the Allan Cup in 2012, which was eventually hosted by Lloydminster. That would have been the Redwings first season in AAA hockey. Despite having interest and support in the community, and a lot of great discussion between stakeholders, a bid to host did not come together until the 2018 event. The Allan Cup 2018 budget to host the event will be $247,640.00. There was no seed money provided to the Host Committee. All money to pull off the event financially was provided or raised by the Host Committee.
The AGT Centre is owned and operated by the Town of Rosetown. Originally built in 1962, this recreation facility has had a number of upgrades over the years but retains its historic look and feel. There has been a recent upgrade to the lighting over the ice surface.
Prior to the Allan Cup, other modifications will include: the conversion of the curling rink into a temporary beer garden/concert venue; additional amenities will be brought on-site, such as Porta Potties, and; a back-up ice plant and Zamboni for contingency planning purposes. Some of the modifications are based on anticipated attendance, other aspects of hosting the event, and requirements associated with some games being televised on TSN.
With the Allan Cup being hosted in Saskatchewan, there will be two Saskatchewan teams competing: the Rosetown Redwings and the Bethune Bulldogs. Other benefits to hosting a national event include the economic spinoffs for businesses in and around Rosetown. The Allan Cup hockey teams, support staff and spectators will be staying in hotels or motels in Rosetown, Kindersley and Saskatoon. In addition to the traffic at the AGT Centre, the local restaurants, gas stations and other businesses should be very busy.
This event would not be possible if it were not for the great support in Rosetown and area – volunteers, the collaboration with community groups, local businesses and the general public. Being from Saskatchewan, we all know that “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
It’s always something to proud of when Saskatchewan is recognized on a national stage. Here’s hoping that each individual who has made a contribution to this event takes a moment to reflect and enjoy the experience.
More history on the Allan Cup, past winners and hosts can be found on Hockey Canada’s website.
For the Allan Cup 2018 schedule or ticket information, check out allancup2018.ca.