It is two thumbs up for Scotiabank Place and the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ottawa.
The International Ice Hockey Federation gave a glowing review to the main venue for next year’s World
Juniors during a site visit Thursday afternoon. Scotiabank Place will play host to 17 of the tournament’s 31
games, including all of Team Canada’s games and the medal contests.
“I’m impressed with this building, especially for the World Juniors,” Hannes Ederer, deputy general
secretary and event director for the IIHF, said after a brief tour of the Ottawa Senators’ home building.
“This is definitely a new standard for World Juniors.”
Ederer’s thoughts weren’t exactly a surprise to members of the host organizing committee, who have had
Scotiabank Place at the centre of their plans since the get-go.
The tournament’s other 14 games will be contested at the Ottawa Civic Centre, home of the Ontario Hockey
“We’ve got a very confident group and, of course, this building is fantastic,” said Bob O’Doherty, general
manager for the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship. “We’ve been through it many times before and we think
the plan we’ve put into place would be one that the IIHF would like, and they did.”
Ederer was also full of praise for Ottawa’s overwhelming support of the tournament.
Nearly a year in advance, all 16,000 available ticket packages have been scooped up, and with more than
440,000 tickets and about $5 million in corporate sales in the bank, the Ottawa event has already shattered
records set in Vancouver in 2006.
“We have a very, very good (organizing) group here and it’s definitely a hockey town,” said Ederer, adding
he has “no concerns” about the operational side of the tourney.
O’Doherty said host organizers want to take the World Juniors to a new, higher level.
“We’re going to be on the international stage for two weeks over the Christmas period and it’s our
opportunity to showcase to the world the type of sporting event we can put on,” he said. “We’ve been looking
at best-ever results for a long time now and all our plans our focused on doing that.
“Vancouver set the bar very, very high and our goal is to take the bar and raise it even higher so that
the next time it comes to Canada (in 2010), they’ll have a difficult time doing what we did.”
The 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship runs from to .
“We can see the dates on our calendar now,” said Cyril Leeder, vice-chairman of the host organizing
committee and the COO of the Senators and Scotiabank Place. “It’s still 11 months away, but a lot of
preparation is under way now. Having Hannes here just brings it to the forefront.”
Ederer, who saw the passion fans in Hockey Country have for the game during a walk through downtown Ottawa
on Wednesday night, doesn’t doubt the capital will embrace the tournament in a big way.
“I think the city will be in (full) World Junior mode,” he said.