Maple Ridge City Hall would be happy to host the Mann Cup.
City council approved keeping Cam Neely Arena as a bare floor for an extra three weeks this year, should the Maple Ridge Burrards play their way into the Senior A national championships.
Staff noted the delay in installing ice in the rink would impact minor hockey, female hockey, speed skating and figure skating, but recommended council support the Western Lacrosse Association team.
“Hosting a national event of this calibre falls in line with our cities sport and physical activities strategy, and council’s priority of community pride and spirit,” said staff.
A report said staff would find ice time in neighbouring communities to meet the needs of each association, and the city approved $10,000 maximum be funded through surplus to purchase ice in other cities rinks for ice users.
“I’m hoping they win, and we do host,” said Coun. Ahmed Yousef, and asked if the Burrards don’t make it to the final, will there still be a delay.
The ice would go in as usual if the Burrards do not get in.
Burrards GM Lance Andre noted the other user groups will have four out of five ice surfaces available while the series is on, scheduled for Sept. 5-13. It takes approximately a week to install the ice after the series.
He predicts the Mann Cup games, which pit the WLA champion against the champs from Ontario’s Major Series Lacrosse, will sell out every night of the best-of-seven series.
It would be the first time the Mann Cup was hosted by Maple Ridge, although the Burrards have played in the championship series in three out of the last four seasons, losing both times in Ontario.
“It’s a win for the city to bring a national championship here,” said Andre.
He noted Ridge Meadows is one of the largest minor lacrosse associations in the country, and the kids will also get to see the best in their sport.
“They would get to watch all the stars play,” he said. “It would be quite a show.”
“For all that, we’ve still got to make it there – we’ve still got to play the games and win.”