All the kind words in the local paper, on February 9, directed at Steven Horne, the Spitfires director of business development, suggest something is not right in the once rosy city. The paper was reporting on the Ontario Hockey Association’s local team sending in a bid to host the famed Memorial Cup in the spring of 2017.
Despite the mayor going on a buying spree, requisitioning services from hither and yon including Australia but not Windsor, for the extravagant FINA multi-million dollar short swimming event in December, it seems Windsor does have some talent. This was clearly evident in what OHL commissioner David Branch had to say.
Introducing his remarks, the paper explained hopeful Windsor, “… has shown its strength with events in the past having hosted the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and the OHL all-star game. In November, nearly 5,500 fans attended the Canada Russia Series and that wasn’t lost on Branch.”
“One thing this proved,” Branch is quoted as saying, “is the Windsor structure, led by Horne and others, really knows how to handle all the objectives of events from sponsors to attention to details for players and fans.”
It is assumed the expertise of Horne, and others overlooked by Dilkens, will play a key role in Windsor’s bid. According to Branch, the Memorial Cup decision makers are looking for a strong local team with good a good arena and housing for the players and their entourages, including media, as well as a good banquet hall.
Horne admitted the local bid will rely on expert help. This jarred a few pundits.
If the city has the expertise to host a legendary sporting event, like the Memorial Cup, why couldn’t locals get the nod for a short swimming competition? Instead, as The Square has reported, Dilkens is hiring stagers and marketers and many others from out of town, including Australia, believe it or not.
It is just another example of him abandoning his community in favour of being an arrogant big shot, able to smack the city’s event organizers in the face by ignoring them. It proves he is not really qualified to run a city; particularly the way he values glitz ahead of helping develop the region’s cadre of event specialists.
This certainly might explain his hiring of a so-called sports guru, a baseball player with no sports marketing experience, to promote the city’s sports abilities. What is there to promote?
Dilkens’ outsourcing does nothing but compromise Samantha Magalas’ potential sales pitch. He is broadcasting loud, proud, and clear a view of a city lacking the requisite skills to handle even a second tier swimming event without importing talent from many kilometres away.
How could this not deter others from considering Windsor for their competitions and tournaments?
They could legitimately say the city does not have resident capabilities because Dilkens had to bring in others for an event no other jurisdiction in North America will touch.
FINA, so glad Windsor’s taxpayers are spending a small fortune to bankroll its minor competition, should have demanded and accepted nothing but local expertise. Dilkens brags that the “entire world” will be watching, but what will it see, beyond outsiders and a mayor with a severe lack of leadership.
Robert Tuomi can be heard at 8:30 pm every Monday evening and noon every Wednesday co-hosting Talkin’ ‘Bout Windsor on CJAM 99.1 FM. Listen on demand to previous episodes or catch the discussion live and join in. Talkin’ ‘Bout Windsor is broadcast every Monday and Wednesday to the Windsor and Detroit listening area and streamed online at CJAM.