WINNIPEG, MAN. -- The hosting of the 1999 World Junior Hockey Championship has been awarded to a bid put
forward by the Province of Manitoba, Canadian Hockey announced on Thursday.
The Manitoba group will stage the prestigious Christmas holiday hockey championship as a partnership
involving Canadian Hockey, Hockey Manitoba and the communities of Winnipeg, Brandon, Portage la Prairie and
The Winnipeg-based bid also has the strong support of both the Province of Manitoba and Winnipeg
Enterprises, which operates the 14,000-seat Winnipeg Arena. The Arena will be the main tournament site, where
14 of the 31 tournament games, including the gold-medal final, will be played. Games also will be held in
Brandon, Portage and Selkirk, and some other sites as well.
A three-man committee selected the Manitoba bid from among four other strong candidates representing
Hamilton-Kitchener, ON; Halifax, NS; Saskatoon, SK; and Hull-Ottawa. The committee members included Frank
Lento, Canadian Hockey chairman; David Branch, president of the Canadian Hockey League; and Murray Costello,
president of Canadian Hockey.
'Any of the five finalists (bidding cities), based on their applications, would stage a successful event,'
said Costello. 'What made the Manitoba bid special were a number of factors, beginning with the fact we are
confident that for the 10-day period the tournament covers, the World Junior tournament would be the big show
'The support the bid received from all the communities involved, as well as the province and the Manitoba
business community convinced us it was the best from among a handful of strong bids.'
Costello also noted that the special-event atmosphere built into the Manitoba bid impressed the Selection
Committee, as did the strength and base of volunteer support available in the participating Manitoba
Winnipeg also boasts an international airport and ample hotel facilities to handle the influx of visitors
the World Junior Hockey Championship attracts.
'We believe this should be the most successful World Junior Hockey Championship we've ever held,' said
Since the World Junior tournament is staged in Canada on a rotational basis once every four years or so,
it is important to turn a significant profit on the event in order to maintain Canada's high performance
standard in international competition. A portion of any profit derived is channelled back into hockey
development across the country, as well as into the Canadian Hockey branch hosting the event.
Another beneficiary of a successful tournament is the Canadian Hockey League, which oversees Major Junior
Hockey in Canada. Canadian Hockey operates the National Junior Team in partnership with the CHL and its
constituent members, the Western Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey
The 1999 event will be the fifth time the World Junior Hockey Championship will be held in Canada. The
tournament, an International Ice Hockey Federation event, previously was held in Canada in 1978 (Montreal);
1986 (Hamilton); 1991 (Saskatoon) and 1995 (Red Deer).
The 10-team tournament will run from Dec. to Jan., with all of Canada's games telecast
live on both The Sports Network(TSN) and RDS (Réseau des Sports). Both TSN and RDS will broadcast the
gold-medal game regardless of whether Canada is involved or not.
Since the inception of the tournament, Canada has won 10 gold medals, more than any other country, and won
its fifth straight gold -- also a record -- in Geneva in January.