Governor Pat Quinn today welcomed the Stanley Cup and Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz to Springfield as the Cup continues its victory tour of Illinois in honor of the Chicago Blackhawks' historic NHL Championship win.
"The Blackhawks' overtime win against the Flyers was celebrated in every corner of our great state, so it is fitting that the Stanley Cup is traveling all over Illinois to see the fans," said Governor Quinn. "I want to thank the Hawks for bringing the Stanley Cup to Springfield. I hope everyone puts on their Blackhawk red and black to come out and celebrate."
After a brunch at the Executive Mansion with members of the United Service Organizations (USO) and the Wirtz family, the Cup arrived at the 2010 Illinois State Fair for an official unveiling in advance of its public display on Saturday.
"We are excited about this unique public viewing opportunity at the Illinois State Fair with Governor Quinn and our great partner the USO," said Jay Blunk, the Blackhawks Senior Vice President of Business Operations. "This allows us to give back to the people of Illinois, while also building awareness for those who protect our freedom, both past and present."
The Cup will then head to the State Capitol where it will be on display briefly in the Rotunda on Friday between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. The renowned trophy will spend the night at the Executive Mansion under the care of Mike Bolt, the NHL's official guardian of the Cup.
The public will then be able to view the Cup and pose for photos when it returns to the fair on Saturday. It will be located at the corner of Main Street and Illinois Avenue, just outside the carnival midway from 11. a.m. until 4 p.m. Fairgoers can stop and celebrate the Chicago Blackhawks thrilling victory over the Philadelphia Flyers with one of most recognizable awards in the world of sports.
The Stanley Cup was first presented to the champions of the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada in 1893. In 1926, the NHL assumed official control of the Cup and, over the years, the names of players who have won the league's championship have been engraved on the base. It currently measures almost three feet tall and weighs about 35 pounds.