The Nanaimo Clippers want to win the cup every year, but right now, ‘wanting the cup’ has a different meaning.
The city’s junior A hockey club will be submitting its bid to host Hockey Canada’s RBC Cup national championship tournament at Frank Crane Arena in 2021.
Tali Campbell, the Clippers’ director of business operations, said the committee will be ready to submit its bid package by the April 30 deadline.
“The committee’s been working hard on getting all the proper stuff in place.…” Campbell said. “We’re pretty optimistic at where we’re at and what our package looks like compared to other, previous [successful] packages and there’s not a whole lot more that we think we can do.”
He said the City of Nanaimo’s commitments of $30,000 and ice assurances have been critical pieces, and said the bid has also received support from the Nanaimo Hospitality Association, Snuneymuxw First Nation, minor hockey associations, service clubs and politicians.
“A lot of hype going forward,” Campbell said. “Part of the application bid is making sure you have support from the community and it’s definitely showing that we do.”
He and Clippers coach and general manager Darren Naylor will be attending the upcoming RBC Cup in Brooks, Alta., and will meet with Hockey Canada representatives and members of the host committee there. Campbell said the trip will help to demonstrate that the Clippers are serious about wanting to host.
“It’s going to be great hockey, but that’s not my main priority,” he said. “My main priority obviously is looking at the surrounding areas and how the volunteers are doing and the media services and how the host committee is operating on a day-to-day basis.”
Even after the bid package is in, it will be important for the community to show support, Campbell said, and the Clippers will be active on social media, for example, leading that charge.
“We’ll be starting a kind-of ‘we want the cup’ campaign here pretty quick, where we’re going to have some banners out and really getting the community showcasing to Hockey Canada and the rest of hockey at the junior A level that our community wants the cup and we’re ready to host it,” Campbell said.