The first game is 58 days away. Three of the four teams that play in the event won’t be determined for another seven weeks.
Despite the unknowns, it’s already the biggest paid sporting attraction in the history of the community, promoters claim.
It’s the Memorial Cup, the championship tournament of major junior hockey in the Arena May 9-17. Champions of the Western, Ontario and Quebec major junior hockey leagues will join the Spokane Chiefs in pursuit of the Memorial Cup.
The Chiefs are in it as the host team. Tuesday, club officials trotted out some impressive numbers regarding the tournament.
This probably will be the best-attended Memorial Cup in the 80-year history of the event.
More than 7,000 ticket packages have been sold, club owner Bobby Brett said. That’s more than 63,000 tickets sold for eight games (nine games if a tiebreaker is necessary).
When single-game tickets go on sale April 1, only seats in the upper level will be available. Super seats at $154 and $144 are gone. So are lower level and selected rows of upper-level seats at $136 and $126.
Prices for a tournament ticket (eight or nine games) for an upper-level seat are $118 and $108.
“I’m real happy to report that the people of Spokane have responded to this event,” Chiefs owner Bobby Brett said.
If sold out in advance, games will be locally televised on KAYU Fox 28.
All games will be carried throughout Canada by TSN, Canada’s sports channel.
The format is for one game a day starting on May 9, when the Chiefs meet the Quebec champion. Spokane resumes action on May 11, with the Ontario champion. The Chiefs play again on May 14, with the Western Hockey League representative.
Should the Chiefs win the WHL title, the WHL representative will be the runner-up in the league finals. Weekend games will start at 1. Weeknight games are at 7:30.
Each team is guaranteed a minimum of three games. Should each win at least one, the if-necessary tiebreaker will be played on May 15.
Semifinals are May 16. The championship game is the following afternoon.
All games will be carried on KGA (1510-AM), the Chiefs’ radio flagship station.
Arena GM Kevin Twohig said the event will generate a $2.7 million impact. Fans are expected to book 12,000 hotel room nights. A third of the fans will come from outside Spokane, many from Canada, Twohig said.
The Chiefs also announced their first WHL playoff home date will be March 24. Spokane’s likely first-round opponent is Kelowna. Tickets go on sale Thursday.
The Chiefs open the playoffs on the road but will have four home dates, should the series go the full seven games.