NANAIMO – The Clippers are hoping to bring Canadian Junior A hockey's most important event back to the Harbour City.
A bid for the 2021 RBC Cup is being made by the team, to see the CJHL's championship return to Nanaimo for the first time since 1998.
After seeing first hand the success of the 2018 tournament hosted by the Chilliwack Chiefs, team business operations manager Tali Campbell says he wanted to see the cup in Nanaimo.
“Barry Douglas and his team did an incredible job there and I had a chance to see some of it,” said Campbell. “It was quite a quick process. I asked Wes Mussio if this was something we might entertain and he was all over it. We had a brainstorming session with Wes and head coach and general manager Darren Naylor and next thing you know we're at this stage now.”
Campbell says the Clippers have already sent their expression of interest on to Hockey Canada and all other teams and cities have until February 20 to do so.
The complete bid document must be completed by April 30.
According to Campbell, Hockey Canada will do in person interviews with selected communities in mid May and then the winning bid will be unveiled by mid June.
At this point he and Darren Naylor will be spearheading the committee to bring the RBC Cup to Nanaimo but Campbell says others have already offered their support since news of the bid came out on Monday morning.
The Clippers organization was involved in putting on the recent World Junior exhibition game between the Czech Republic and Slovakia in December and they also hosted the Western Canada Cup in their 40th anniversary season of 2013.
The RBC is a bigger event but there are a lot of similarities to the structure of the WCC and the RBC Cup.
Bid documents put forward by Chilliwack and this year's hosts, the Brooks Bandits, were approximately 100 pages long so there's much work to be done before the April 30th deadline.
From talking to previous RBC Cup hosts Campbell says Nanaimo could see an economic impact of roughly one to two million dollars from the tournament.
On the ice the Clippers have never won an RBC Cup.
Their last appearance was in 2004 when they failed to advance out of the round robin, and when the Clippers hosted in 1998 they lost in the semi finals to Weyburn.
Last year the Chiefs won the national title as the host team and now the Clippers organization will be looking for two victories - a winning bid and ultimately a historic winning season in 2021.
On twitter: @danmarshall77
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