Brooks, AB Submits Bid to Host 2018 RBC Cup

The Brooks 2018 RBC Cup Bid Committee has officially submitted its bid for the community of Brooks, Alberta to host the 2018 RBC Cup national championship tournament, it was confirmed today.

The committee, in partnership with the Brooks Bandits, the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), and Hockey Alberta, submitted the bid as part of Hockey Canada’s site selection process, with the successful host community likely to be named in the coming months after further review.

“We are excited to have officially put our great community in the running for as spectacular a tournament as the RBC Cup,” said bid committee chair Josh Argue. “We firmly believe that not only would the RBC Cup be one of the most significant events, sports or otherwise, to come to Brooks, bringing millions in economic benefit, but also that our residents and local corporate community will support this event exceptionally well, and ensure an especially successful and memorable tournament.”

The committee highlighted the community’s unrivalled passion for Junior A hockey, and the proposed host team’s repeated success and established community partnerships, as key factors making Brooks a suitable host community for such a prestigious event. In attendance, Bandits games regularly draw more than 10% of the official population of Brooks for each game, with that number climbing even higher in post-season, while the team has registered the most regular season wins in the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) over the past five seasons.

“Having been to the RBC Cup in Summerside, and seeing what a smaller city can do with an event of this magnitude, it gives me great confidence that our community would do a fantastic job as host,” said Brooks Bandits general manager Ryan Papaioannou, who also serves on the bid committee. “We have passionate hockey fans in Brooks that would support the event as a whole and provide an unparalleled game atmosphere.”

“Our community would embrace an opportunity to show off everything it has to offer during a national event like the RBC Cup,” he added.

In addition, the strong community character and support of Brooks and the County of Newell were key facets in making the bid possible. Importantly, the City of Brooks Council approved on January 18th a full waiver of any fees associated with use of the community’s state of the art facility, the Centennial Regional Arena, for use in the tournament. The Newell Regional Economic Development Initiative (NREDI), through votes of both Brooks and County of Newell councils, also committed conditional grant funding of up to $150,000 to ensure that an RBC Cup in Brooks would be a financial success.

As well as government support, the Committee received rousing support, commitments, and endorsements from a variety of private and charitable organizations.

This included local hoteliers the Heritage Inn, Ramada, and Canalta hotels, which ensured accommodation availability for the potential event, the Brooks Minor Hockey Association, which helped to illustrate the firm and expanding relationship between the Bandits and local minor hockey which will be bolstered by a successful bid, as well as the Kinsmen Club of Brooks and Big Country Oilmen’s Association, which committed their support in ensuring the community’s spirit of volunteerism will help to create a 2018 RBC Cup in Brooks that has more than sufficient personnel to guarantee a flawless event.

Additional support came from local medical practitioners, school boards, media outlets, transportation companies, and others, to demonstrate the full-fledged ability of the community to provide all necessary amenities for a tournament of the calibre of the RBC Cup.

“We would like to thank all of our many community partners who stepped up to offer their support over the recent months as this bid was compiled,” Argue added, “and also express our gratitude to Hockey Canada and the AJHL for their assistance in helping to ensure our bid was handled according to the proper guidelines.

“We look forward to the next steps of the site selection process, and to the opportunity to further demonstrate our readiness, willingness, and excitement to host the best possible RBC Cup.”

The RBC Cup is a national tournament that crowns the top Junior “A” team in the CJHL. Over nine days, five teams, including the eastern, central, and western Junior “A” champions, the Western Canada Cup (WCC) runner-up, and the host team, compete in a round-robin followed by semifinals and final, the last of which is televised nationally on TSN. In 2013, the Bandits won their first RBC Cup in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, and are the most recent AJHL team to earn its way to an RBC Cup.