Halifax excited to host World Junior Hockey Championship
Downtown Halifax Business Commission CEO Paul MacKinnon says the timing is perfect for the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship to be coming back to the Maritimes.
"It has all the earmarks of what we like to see for events," said MacKinnon. "It's coming in the off-season and it’s going to be a winter event.”
On Thursday, Halifax and Moncton had been announced as the official selected cities to host the tournament.
Mackinnon said a tournament-style, even not dependent on the weather, will set up the downtown core to successfully host the two week championship event.
“There are going to be people downtown between games looking for things to do,” said MacKinnon.
The international tournament will be held at Halifax's Scotiabank Centre and Moncton's Avenir Centre from Dec. 23, 2022, to Jan. 5, 2022.
New Brunswick and Nova Scotia put in a combined bid of $5 million.
Midtown Tavern Manager Colin Grant said 20 years ago when the World Juniors were last held here, business was through the roof.
"Every day, they came and went to the game and then they came back and then they went to the next game and then they came back again," said Grant, "It was constant.”
Musician Sean McKenna expects the music industry to be involved in several festival style concerts over the duration of the tournaments, in both Halifax and Moncton.
"They have to go to bars and they have to go to restaurants and places to eat," said McKenna. "It can’t be anything but a positive.”
The TSN broadcasts can be as high as several million viewers per game. Halifax Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Patrick Sullivan expects that exposure to bring direct benefits to tourism.
“This is presenting to an audience that will see Nova Scotia in a great light," said Sullivan. “People expect us to be good, because we are good and we are good at events because we are a destination city."
Sullivan is optimistic that trend will continue starting in December for the 2023 World Junior Hockey Championship.