2024 Memorial Cup Legacy Project to feature revitalization of Symphony Lane in Saginaw
Hosting a major event like the Memorial Cup can often serve as a powerful catalyst for the development of both infrastructure and social legacies that help position host communities for sustainable long-term success.
For Saginaw, Michigan – the 2024 Memorial Cup presented by Dow will be no different.
Just last week, as part of the 2024 Memorial Cup Legacy project, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced alongside the Michigan Economic Development Corporation that a new public gathering space will soon be coming to downtown Saginaw.
Namely, a 300-foot section of Symphony Lane (a city-owned street near the Dow Event Center – the home arena of the Saginaw Spirit) will be rebuilt and transformed into a vibrant public gathering space with bump-outs and infrastructure for food trucks, electrical access, Edison-style street lighting, a pedestrian-friendly crossing, a Memorial Cup sculpture, lighting, landscaping and connections to the Dow Event Center.
The Michigan Strategic Fund awarded the city of Saginaw a $1 million Michigan Strategic Fund performance-based grant in support of the project. The completion of this project is set to coincide with the 2024 Memorial Cup presented by Dow, which is being hosted by the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).
“As hosts of this major international event, the 2024 Memorial Cup presented by Dow from May 24th-June 2nd, we are grateful to the MEDC for their support of this major legacy project,” said Saginaw Spirit President and Managing Partner Craig Goslin. “The project will redesign and enhance Symphony Lane as it is transformed into an excellent/high quality food truck space for the Memorial Cup and beyond. It will surely be a Riverfront Saginaw highlight for decades to come long after the Memorial Cup is completed. The Memorial Cup Sculpture, lighting and landscaping will prove to be a can’t miss attraction for thousands of Canadian and American visitors that will travel to Saginaw for the 10-11 days in late May of 2024.”
The project at Symphony Lane will serve as a gateway to downtown Saginaw, and the improved entrance will enhance the image of the entire downtown business district. With the proposed improvements, Symphony Lane will become a community asset that will aid in the attraction and retention of quality talent by improving the quality of life in the city of Saginaw. Beyond the Memorial Cup, this project’s legacy will serve the community as a public gathering place for years to come.
This project is one of several that the city and community groups are undertaking to commemorate the Memorial Cup event. At the Henry Marsh Bridge (I-675), adjacent to Symphony Lane, a mural has been commissioned to honor the legacy and contributions of Mayor Henry G. Marsh. At Hoyt Park, additional park infrastructure will be installed to enhance the usability of the park. These signature placemaking projects ensure residents and visitors can be proud of telling the story of their city to an international audience.
There are also a number of improvements being made to the Dow Event Center, which is where every game of the 104th edition of the Memorial Cup will be played. Specifically, as part of a multi-million dollar renovation project, the Dow Event Center is getting upgrades that include a new ceiling inside the arena, upgraded and additional suites, locker rooms, bathrooms, the addition of elevators, new lighting, new corner ice scoreboards, an LED ribbon wrapped around the upper level of the arena, along with a 24-foot by 10-foot curved LED display in the welcome atrium.
As hosts, the Saginaw Spirit will be one of four teams to participate in the 2024 Memorial Cup presented by Dow alongside the playoff champion from each of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), and Western Hockey League (WHL).
The 2024 Memorial Cup presented by Dow will mark the first time that the CHL’s championship event has been held in the State of Michigan, let alone also represent the first time that it will take place in an American OHL city.
Awarded to the best team in junior hockey, the Memorial Cup is one of the most coveted trophies in the sport and it has shaped the way junior hockey is played in North America. First awarded in 1919, in remembrance of the many soldiers who paid the supreme sacrifice for Canada in the First World War, the Memorial Cup was rededicated to the memory of all fallen Canadian Military Personnel in 2010.
To read the full release about the revitalization of Symphony Lane from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, click here.
Fans looking to buy tickets to the 2024 Memorial Cup presented by Dow can do so by visiting Ticketmaster.ca.
(FEATURE PHOTO CREDIT: EMMA MILLER / SAGINAW SPIRIT)