Spits want Memorial Cup instead of under-17 tournament

The World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will not return to Windsor in 2013 because the Windsor Spitfires want to concentrate on landing the Memorial Cup.

Time and energy better spent on team and Mem Cup bid, Spits staff says

The World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will not return to Windsor in 2013.

Despite a successful event this year, the Windsor Spitfires decided not to bid to host the event again, even though they were asked to do so.

Windsor Spitfires business manager Steve Horne said the club wants to focus its time and efforts on the team and the bid to host the Memorial Cup in 2014.

"With everything we’ve got coming up over the next 18 months, we felt we couldn’t put the energy that is required into bidding for the event," Horne said. of the under-17 event.

Horne said by not bidding for the lesser tournament, it allows the Spits to "put our best bid forward" for the Memorial Cup.

'Think outside the box'

He said a lot of time and attention to detail goes into a bid for the Memorial Cup. Horne said the club will think outside the box when it comes to bidding for 2014 tournament.

"There are a couple elements we want to investigate," he said.

Horne said the under-17 tournament, hosted in the Windsor region on short notice because longtime host Winnipeg had to make room for the sudden return of the NHL's Jets, was still a success.

It "nearly broke even," according to Horne.

"There are a lot of measuring sticks as to how successful it was. I think it was tremendously successful. It was definitely well worth it," he said.

Horne said Windsor's attendance surpassed Winnipeg’s of a year earlier.

"Given more time we could have put together more of an off-ice event," Horne said. "Financially, could it have been better? Yeah."