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NHL – HABS CAMP GREAT GET FOR COLLINGWOOD?
September 4, 2011Posted by on
The Montreal Canadians will be coming to Eddie Bush arena Oct 3-5 for a mini training camp. In a press release earlier in the week town officials claim “the region can expect great media coverage” and that they are eager to “showcase the regions historic charm, cultural spaces and natural beauty to the visiting NHL franchise.”
A closer look says probably not to either.
The training camp is a closed session, that means
fans are not allowed access to the arena or players during their time here and only limited media access. Further the players will not be staying in Collingwood during the camp, but will be bused in from a “private” location outside of town.
So if the town believes the half-dozen team media personnel hanging around the Hall of Fame room and a view through a bus window driving into town is great for the town, they again show their lack of ability to put the hockey community ahead of their personal agendas.
Collingwood lost its Jr A hockey team at the end of last season, in large part because of the town unwillingness to support them. The team averaged attendance of 18 000 a year over the past 3 years, hosted the largest Jr A tournament in North America last year brining in over a 1000 participants and fans over a 3 day period, was responsible for approximately $ 450 000 in revenues to the downtown core, and was one of thirty-six teams in Ontario to play at that level.
If the town had concerns about media exposure and showcasing its charms, the support of its Jr A club would have gone a lot further than playing concierge to a few players and media that really have no concern or care where this camp is held.