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Kelowna  

Rockets unable to bid for Memorial Cup due to condition of Prospera Place

Prospera Place inadequate

Prospera Place, as it is now, no longer measures up as a building able to host the Canadian Hockey League's national championship.

Following the CHL's announcement Friday evening awarding the 2023 Memorial Cup to Kamloops, the Kelowna Rockets released a statement sharing their disappointment in not being able to bid on the event it lost after the 2020 season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a message to ticket holders, sponsors and fans, the Rockets said, in part, "when we submitted our intent to bid, there was an audit conducted of Prospera Place commissioned by the Rockets, City of Kelowna and the GSL Group who own, operate and manage the arena.

"This audit found that there were significant deficiencies that needed to be upgraded for the facility to meet the CHL standards for hosting the Memorial Cup.

"Ultimately, an agreement with the Rockets, City of Kelowna and GSL Group could not be reached to make the necessary capital improvements in the building."

Without the necessary improvements, the Rockets said they were unable to proceed with their bid to host the 2023 Memorial Cup.

The Rockets have called Prospera Place home for the past 22 years, hosting more than 900 games, including the 2004 Memorial Cup. The building has also hosted the World Junior Championship, top prospects game, and an NHL pre season game.

"Our hope, as we look toward the future, is that the GSL Group will work to complete the necessary improvements the audit identified so that we can once again bring a Memorial Cup back to Kelowna."

The building was completed in 1999 as a partnership between the city and GSL Group. Under than agreement, GSL Group will own and operate the building for 30 years before turning it over to the city.

When the Rockets were awarded the ill-fated 2020 Memorial Cup, the bid process was conducted by the WHL and not the CHL. Building requirements for the event have now changed with the CHL taking over the selection.



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