CBC WINDSOR: Memorial Cup committee drops request for $78K fee waiver

Paul Synnott and Doug Sartori ,right, host the first live Rose City Politics podcast on their new platform 255 Ouellette Ave. on June 14, 2017. PHOTO BY DAX MELMER /Windsor Star

The 2017 Memorial Cup Host Organizing Committee has withdrawn its request Windsor City Council waive $78,000 in fees for the junior hockey tournament.

Municipal politicians were supposed to weigh the request during their meeting Monday night, but a report from city staff recommended the fee breaks be rejected because the city had already agreed to almost $1 million in upgrades to the WFCU Centre.

In a letter to the mayor and members of council dated April 6, the committee stated, “we would like to withdraw our request” after reviewing financial forecasts for the event.

Some community members, including Rose City Politics radio show panelist Paul Synott, questioned the optics of asking taxpayers to cough up hundreds of thousands of dollars in the weeks leading up to the tournament.

“Just prior to the Memorial Cup do they want the bad publicity?” he asked CBC Windsor Morning host Tony Doucette. “It was a large, uphill battle to get it approved with administration recommending against it.”

The request sought the elimination of fees for arena rentals during non-event days, pool rentals for the full tournament and setup and teardown costs.

Non-event days fall on May 15-18 and May 29 when there are no tournament games.