OTTAWA - Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced today that the city of Ottawa will host the 2009 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.
The 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship will take place from late December 2008 to early January 2009 (exact dates to be determined) in Ottawa, using two arenas: the home of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, and the Civic Centre, home of the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67’s. The game schedule will consist of 31 games, created and approved by both the IIHF and the 10 competing nations.
Ticket information, ticket prices and process for obtaining tickets for the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship will be launched and made available later this summer first to season ticket holders (Ottawa Senators, Ottawa 67’s, Gatineau Olympiques and Kingston Frontenacs) and then to the general public this fall.
The bid from Ottawa was chosen from five potential groups who made final presentations in Calgary on April 18 to the 2009 World Junior site selection committee, comprised of Bob Nicholson (president, Hockey Canada), René Marcil (chair of the board, Hockey Canada), David Branch (president, Canadian Hockey League) and resource person Scott Smith (Hockey Canada’s senior vice-president, business operations). The five finalists included bids from Alberta (Calgary/Edmonton), Montreal, Ottawa, Saskatchewan (Saskatoon/Regina) and Toronto.
Key elements of the bid from Ottawa:
Ottawa’s bid includes a commitment of $12.5 million, with projection to establish a financial return that will be in excess of $13.6 million. Hockey Canada will receive 50 percent of net profits, the Canadian Hockey League will receive 35 percent and the remaining 15 percent of net profit will be shared between the Ottawa District Hockey Association (ODHA) and the other 12 Branches of Hockey Canada. Net profits will benefit hockey development programs nationally, Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence including Canada’s Men’s and Women’s programs, all of Hockey Canada’s 13 Branches, and fund national hockey development initiatives for years to come.
“For all 31 games and 10 teams to be located together in one city will make this an unforgettable event all of the participating countries, and we know that the 2009 World Junior Championship will be the focus of everyone in ‘Hockey Country’,” said Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson. “The Ottawa bid included strong support from all levels of the game of hockey: the Ottawa District Hockey Association, the CHL and the NHL, which was an important part of their bid and presentation. The hosting and excitement of this event in Ottawa will enhance hockey at all levels of the game in our country for many years to come.”
“On behalf of the Canadian Hockey League and all of our teams, congratulations to the winning bid from Ottawa to host the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship,” said CHL president and member of the site selection committee, David Branch. “The popularity of this event, and junior hockey in our country, continues to grow and we feel that this bid from Ottawa will be an event that all participants and teams will not soon forget.”
“The world junior hockey championship has quickly become one of the most important and exciting events on the international hockey calendar. We are honoured to be selected by Hockey Canada and the Canadian Hockey League to serve as hosts for the 2009 event,” said Eugene Melnyk, chair of the Ottawa bid committee and owner of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators. “The people of Ottawa truly pride themselves on having a deep passion for Canada’s great game. As the nation’s capital, I can’t think of a more perfect backdrop for hosting this prestigious hockey event.”
“It was a great honour for me to campaign on behalf of Ontario’s bid cities in Calgary this April and to bring to the table a $2 million commitment to host the games on behalf of the Government of Ontario and Premier McGuinty,” said Ontario Minister of Health Promotion Jim Watson. “The 2009 world juniors will be an excellent showcase for amateur hockey in this province and a great event for the city of Ottawa. Congratulations to all who contributed to the winning bid.”
Before the 2009 event takes place in Ottawa, the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship will be hosted by Sweden in Leksand and Mora. A host has not been selected for 2008. Canada has hosted the IIHF World Junior Championship a total of seven times. Past Canadian host cities were Vancouver/Kamloops/Kelowna, B.C. (2006), Halifax/Sydney, N.S. (2003), Winnipeg, Man. (1999), Red Deer, Alta. (1995), Saskatoon, Sask. (1991), Hamilton, Ont. (1986) and Montreal (1978).
The 2006 IIHF World Junior event generated an estimated economic activity of $41.0 million in the province of British Columbia. This totals resulted from $22.8 million in combined operations, capital and visitors spending. The event contributed over $21.7 million to the provincial GDP.
Canada has won a medal in the past seven straight World Junior Championships, including winning back to back gold medals in 2006 in Vancouver and 2005 in North Dakota.
For more information on the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship, visit the official website of Hockey Canada, www.hockeycanada.ca.