Sportsnet has confirmed that the Rogers Hometown Hockey tour is officially retiring after eight seasons.
“After eight seasons, 160 community celebrations, and countless hockey stories told, the Rogers Hometown Hockey tour is officially retiring from the road,” the network announced, in a statement provided to Broadcast Dialogue. “Established as a marquee national NHL night on Sportsnet and cross-country touring festival more than eight years ago, the program has delivered exactly what it set out to do in communities across Canada. The time is simply right to bring it to a natural close and explore new broadcast opportunities, expand our storytelling capabilities and evolve the viewer experience.”
Rogers Sports & Media declined to comment on the status of the talent attached to the show, including co-hosts Ron MacLean and Tara Slone.
As reported by The Athletic, MacLean has indicated he’s set to return to Hockey Night in Canada next season, but the fate of other staff is unclear.
Broadcasting weekly from a different community, the tour included a weekend of free outdoor hockey festivities, culminating in a community viewing party broadcast on Sportsnet and SN Now, with MacLean and Slone hosting live on-site. Profiling players and teams in each city it visited, London, ON hosted the first tour stop in October 2014. The tour was suspended for the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19 and the broadcast moved to Monday nights when it returned this past season.
During the show’s run, it was nominated for Best Sports Program at the 2020 Canadian Screen Awards for its broadcast from Enoch Cree Nation. MacLean has also been nominated twice, in 2017 and 2018, for Best Sports Host.
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