OTTAWA, Ont. -- Five bids remain in the competition to play host to the World Junior Hockey Championship in 1999, when it will be Canada's turn to stage the tournament that the National Junior Team has won 10 times, more than any country in history.
The bids include: Halifax, N.S.; Winnipeg, Man.; and three joint bids put forward by Ottawa-Hull; Hamilton and Kitchener, ON; and Saskatoon and Regina, Sask. The bids were put forward by the Nova Scotia Hockey Association, Hockey Manitoba, the Ottawa District Hockey Association, the Ontario Hockey Federation and the Saskatchewan Amateur Hockey Association, respectively.
On March 18 in Toronto, the five bidding groups will make presentations to selection committee members Frank Lento, Canadian Hockey's Chairman of the Board, David Branch, President of the Canadian Hockey League and Costello. Ron Robison, Canadian Hockey's vice-president, business operations, will be on hand as a resource person for the committee.
Each group will be allotted 90 minutes of which up to one hour will be set aside for a formal presentation. The balance will be used for the committee members to pose questions to the bidders, and vice-versa. Costello said no announcement will be made on March 18. The committee will study the submissions and announce the successful bid no later than mid-April.
'Canadian Hockey is extremely excited about playing host to the fifth World Junior tournament to be staged in our country,' said Costello. 'The quality of the bids is very high, indeed, so we're confident the winning city will put on a great show. The only unfortunate element in this process is disappointing those bidding cities who will be unsuccessful.'
The short-listed candidates were linked in a conference call on Friday to explain the details of the bidding process to them. A drawing was made on Friday by a representative of Deloitte and Touche to determine the order in which the five bidding groups will make their presentations on March 18.
The World Junior Hockey Championship has previously been held in Canada in Montreal (1978), Hamilton (1986), Saskatoon (1991), and Red Deer, Alta., (1995).