Lord Stanley’s Cup is one of the most hallowed trophies in sports.
Saint Mary’s University athletic director Nikki Fennern described it as “the most iconic sports trophy in the United States.”
People all over the world have waited in lines for hours just to catch a glimpse of the 35-pound, 35-inch traveling trophy.
On Friday, the Cup will spend the night in Winona.
“We are extremely excited,” Fennern said. “I don’t think that we can overstate how happy we are to have John McDonough on our campus and how happy we are that he is bringing the Cup with him to our campus.”
McDonough is an SMU alum and the president and CEO of the Chicago Blackhawks, who beat the Boston Bruins to win the Cup in June. He will speak at a public rally scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. start at Gostomski Fieldhouse.
The Cup has traveled around the world with past champions as tradition. Every player and member of the team’s staff gets to spend at least one day with the Cup, but its safety is paramount above everything else.
Therefore, when the Cup makes its stop in Winona, Fennern and the Saint Mary’s staff have taken extra precautions.
“We will be using a combination of our security and off-campus police officers and reserves,” Fennern said. “We will be very secure on our campus.”
The Cup is accompanied by one of the traveling guards, more commonly known as Keepers of the Cup, but SMU is adding a little more protection to ensure the safety of not only the Cup but also the people at the event.
“We have paid special attention to security on our campus,” Fennern said. “We know that with the Stanley Cup comes a lot of excitement and a lot of enthusiasm, so we just want to make sure that everybody on our campus is safe.”
Fennern said there’s no way to predict the attendance numbers for Friday, but she and her staff are “preparing for the biggest crowd that we think is going to come.”
“We want there to be a big crowd. We want excitement,” Fennern said. “We want a lot of people at our rally, and we want a lot of people to get a glimpse of the Cup.”
Following the rally, people will have an opportunity to see the Cup from 5 to 7 p.m. at the fieldhouse.
Wristbands — Fennern didn’t specify how many — will be given to those wanting a closer look at the Cup at 3:30 p.m.. The line to get a wristband, Fennern said, can begin forming at 1:30 p.m.