Go Knights Go! And go downtown to watch the Memorial Cup final

6 min read

Sunday night. 7 p.m. If you’re a loyal Londoner, there’s nowhere you should be – that is, if you can’t be in Saginaw, Michigan, watching the Memorial Cup live – than in front of a TV, watching the Knights in the championship game on TSN.

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Sunday night. 7 p.m. If you’re a loyal Londoner, there’s nowhere you should be – that is, if you can’t be in Saginaw, Michigan, watching the Memorial Cup live – than in front of a TV, watching the Knights in the championship game on TSN. And there’s no more lively place for that than downtown. Here are a few options:

FITZRAY’S

As close to the Knights’ home ice as it gets, Fitzray’s at Dundas and Talbot streets is a regular haunt for fans before, during and after home games. For Sunday’s final, owner Mark McGonigle said he’s expecting a crowd to turn up to embrace a game-like atmosphere for a televised broadcast.

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“I just called in some extra staff already,” McGonigle said.

McGonigle said many Knights fans dropped in during an outdoor Dundas Place viewing party for what ended up being a thrilling 4-2 win to punch London’s ticket to Sunday’s championship game. “It was a very lively thing.”

McGonigle said he expects a “pretty energetic” evening on Sunday. “We’re one of the few pubs in town that actually turn up the volume and turn it on right.”

McGonigle said all of its 21 TV screens will be playing the Memorial Cup final.

J-DEE’S MARKET GRILL

Knights fans who’ve attended a game at Budweiser Gardens know if you don’t show up early to J-Dee’s, you’re not getting a pre-game spot in the eatery at King Street and Talbot Street.

“Every Knights game we fill to capacity, so you can’t beat that,” said owner Jim Davies.

For fans looking for that familiar pregame feeling, they should think about showing up early on Sunday night, too, with the Dundas Place viewing party just one block away.

J-Dees only has one screen, but it will be tuned to the Knights game, Davies said.

WINKS

Adam Winkler, owner of Winks on Richmond Row, said he always looks forward to Knights games at Budweiser Gardens. He said he expects more “Knights fever” when the puck drops on Sunday night’s Memorial Cup championship game.

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When asked how many TVs Winks had, Winker said: “21.” When asked how many will be showing the game, Winkler said: “21.”

And to go with the game? Half price wings, $6 cans of beer and Karaoke at 10 p.m.

DUNDAS PLACE

And about that viewing party – a giant screen has been set up on Dundas Street, right outside Budweiser Gardens, for fans to watch every Knights game so far in the Memorial Cup. And it’ll be fired up again on Sunday night.

In a statement at the start of the tournament, city hall officials called the viewing parties “a wonderful opportunity to support a downtown business, enjoy one of the many nearby patios and explore local shops that make Dundas Place the most exciting street in the city.”

The pedestrian-friendly stretch of Dundas Street that runs several blocks downtown can be closed off to traffic for markets and other public events. At the Knights’ Memorial Cup opener, deputy mayor Shawn Lewis said the so-called flex street was approved by a previous city council with events like this in mind.

“This is exactly why we built Dundas Place, so that we could bring the community together to celebrate,” Lewis said.

Sunday’s forecast calls for a “mainly sunny” evening with temperatures around 20 C but it’s expected to dip to 12 C after sundown. There’s a 20 per cent chance of rain, per the Weather Network.

bwilliams@postmedia.com
@BrianWatLFPress

The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada

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