HALIFAX - The Canadian Hockey Association announced Tuesday that the bid from Halifax was chosen from five potential sites, and will now go to the final step of the process in the hosting of the 2003 IIHF World Junior Championship in Canada.
The Halifax bid was chosen after the selection committee, consisting of: CHA President Bob Nicholson, CHL President Dave Branch and Chair of the Board of the CHA, Wayne Russell, held formal presentations in Toronto on December 15, 2000. Bids that presented to the CHA, but were unsuccessful, were Hamilton/Kitchener, ON, London/Toronto, ON, Ottawa, ON and Saskatoon, SK.
"The community and provincial support in the Halifax bid were outstanding, " said Nicholson. "It was a very difficult decision for the selection committee, but we are extremely excited about taking the Halifax bid to the IIHF for approval in May and to bring the hosting of the 2003 IIHF World Junior Championship once again to Canada.
"The 5,000 ticket packages sold by the Ticket Task Force in Halifax in the 2-week period from December 1 - 14 were an outstanding example of a community pulling together to bring this event to Halifax and were an important factor in the bid committee's decision," Nicholson continued.
The Halifax bid is subject to final approval by the International Ice Hockey Federation at its Annual Meeting next May during the Men's World Hockey Championship in Hanover, Germany. However, the IIHF council has informed the CHA that it will give it's support to the Canadian site, should the bid be of the quality of past Canadian bids. The 2003 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship would take place late December 2002 to January 2003.
Halifax has recently hosted three major events in the city: 2000 Memorial Cup, The Tall Ships this past summer and the World Figure Skating Championship in 1990. Halifax will also play host to the 2002 Royal Bank Cup and the province of Nova Scotia will be host to the top Under 17 players at the World Under 17 Championship in Truro and New Glasgow, running December 29-January 5, 2001.
"The teams and fans of the Canadian Hockey League are very proud to be a part of the 2003 World Junior Hockey Championship by having Halifax host this prestigious event, " said Branch.
The 2003 World Junior Championship will be consist of 34 games, 20 of which will be held in Halifax, with the other 14 to be held in the Atlantic Region. The locations and schedule will be subject to IIHF approval, and will be released at a later date.
"The City of Halifax is proud to be selected by the Canadian Hockey Association to host the IIHF World Junior Championship in 2003, " said Fred MacGillivray, Chairman of the Halifax Bid Committee. "This event is a natural fit for Nova Scotia, given our long association with hockey. We commit to the very best World Junior Hockey Championship ever held in Canada, one that all Canadians will be proud of."
"The hockey communities, participants and volunteers in Nova Scotia are proud and eager to be a part of this wonderful event. We look forward to the challenge that lies ahead in hosting the 2003 IIHF World Junior Championship, " said Denny Deveau, President, Hockey Nova Scotia, and Co-Chair of the Halifax Bid Committee.
The hosting of the World Junior Championship by Halifax in 2003 will be the sixth time Canada has hosted this event. Other years Canada has hosted were: 1999 (Winnipeg, MB), 1995 (Red Deer, AB), 1991 (Saskatoon, SK), 1986 (Hamilton, ON), 1978 (Montreal, QC).
"An event of this magnitude could not take place without the support of the communities that will host this prestigious event, especially the volunteers who have already, and will continue to lend their support, to make the 2003 World Junior Championship the best yet," said Wayne Russell, Chair of the Board, CHA.