The Kingston Frontenacs will not be hosting the 2024 edition of the Memorial Cup, with the selection committee instead choosing the Saginaw Spirit in Michigan.
This will be the first time since 1998 that an American CHL team has hosted the Memorial Cup and the first time ever for an OHL team based in the USA.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Frontenacs said they were disappointed in the decision because despite the strength of all four team’s -Niagara, Sault Ste. Marie, Saginaw, and Kingston- bids, they felt they had a winning combination in their own.
“The Kingston Frontenacs would like to congratulate the Spirit and understand the difficult decision the Selection Community had to make with four great cities bidding for the right to host the event,” the statement reads.
“The Kingston Frontenacs and our city are disappointed with this announcement as we feel Kingston checked all the boxes needed to not only host the 2024 Memorial Cup, but win the prestigious trophy with the talented core of players we have… We understand the frustration our fans will be feeling after this announcement and how much each of you wanted the 2024 Memorial Cup to be in Kingston. We know this, because we share the same feelings.”
This year Kingston missed the playoffs entirely, as they made moves at the trade deadline with more of an eye towards next season.
Saginaw was the only finalist who made the playoffs this season, and their roster also boasts the top prospect for the 2025 NHL draft Michael Misa, who was granted exceptional status and picked first overall in the 2022 OHL Draft.
On Thursday morning, the City of Kingston did however announce that Queen’s University would play host to the 2023 and 2024 Vanier Cups.
Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson said that announcement had great timing given the news of Kingston missing out on the Memorial Cup.
While it won’t rival the economic impact projected by hosting a Memorial Cup, those championships are expected to bring millions to the city.
Paterson added that he was proud of the city’s bid and council’s unanimous support and said that in spite of things not working out this time, he thinks the city may not have to wait too long for it’s shot.
“I am absolutely sure that the time will come again for us to be able to put forward a bid here and host the Memorial Cup sometime in the future,” Paterson said.
The tournament typically runs in late May and early June, with this year’s event in Kamloops kicking off on May 26.