When a decision has multiple teams and their respective cities emotionally invested, it’s never pretty.
That was the case Tuesday as the Ontario Hockey League awarded Memorial Cup hosting duties to London for the second time in less than a decade.
Immediately after the announcement, criticisms started flowing onto social media and news sites.
“Very disappointed at decision on 2014 Memorial Cup. When will #barrie get a fair shake from the OHL?” Barrie mayor Jeff Lehman, who was on the Barrie Colts bid committee, tweeted.
Windsor Spitfires head coach Bob Boughner took a similar tone with media outlets in his city.
“London does have a good team coming back and so do we,” he was quoted as saying. “We have a good building and financial plan. There’s not a lot more to prove in that department.”
The site selection committee chose London because the Knights had the best bid, plain and simple, OHL commissioner David Branch said.
A common Tuesday qualm — that the “rich is getting richer” — has no legs, he said.
“We’ve had it in Guelph, Peterborough,” Branch said, listing two OHL markets on the smaller side, “but, I mean, we recognize the importance of making this event accessible for all our markets and we’ll continue to do so.”
Proposed “legacy” projects to come from 2014 Memorial Cup:
— Launching of virtual OHL hall of fame: Forty players and six coaches to be inducted as the hall’s first class.
— Creation of foundation for OHL alumni: $100,000 will be used as seed money to start a fund, which helps former players who fall on hard times.
— Establishment of OHL alumni association: An official organization linking the league to its ex-players.