By Adam Jacobs
More than eight weeks ago Halifax set a record for attendance for the World Women's Hockey
Now that the event has begun, it is time for the city to reap the benefits. In 1997 Kitchener hosted
66,783 hockey fans by the time the event concluded.
As it stands today Halifax has sold close to 80,000 tickets between the Halifax Metro Centre and Dartmouth
Event manager Gary MacDonald said that number may not completely represent the number of people who will
be attending the event, but it is a great accomplishment.
"I couldn’t give you a guess," he said. "People from all over are buying tickets and they are coming from
What this means for the Capital City, said MacDonald, is an estimated $5-7 million being exchanged over
the next 10 days or so.
A survey will follow the event and will further expand on current estimates. Damian Byrne of The Landmark
Hospitality Group has seen it all before. "During the World Juniors we saw a 20 per cent increase in
business," the CEO said. "Hockey in general, people eat before the games and that’s where we saw the biggest
increase in business."
His nightlife establishments didn’t do as well because they’re not geared to a "family environment."
Numbers from Tourism Nova Scotia show that for every $100,000 in revenue it creates three jobs directly or
For Byrne - who heads six restaurant venues in the downtown area, including the Split Crow and Peddler’s
Pub – this is true. He said he will have to bring in some extra workers throughout the week to ensure that
business can be met.
Numbers from Tourism Nova Scotia show that for every $100,000 in tourism revenue federal, provincial and
municipal taxes collected add up to $16,480.
"You’d have to be crazy not to support something like this," Byrne said. "Why wouldn’t you support an
increase in your own business?"
Other beneficiaries are hotels, cabs and Metro Transit. Anyone who runs a business in the downtown area
can benefit in some way. And for the province, it brings early relief following a long winter and preceding a
busy tourist season.
"It certainly extends the tourism season," MacDonald said. "It does provide a great segue into the tourism
season and it couldn’t be held at a better time."
Byrne couldn’t completely agree. "Frankly the World Junior Championship was [scheduled for] the best time
ever, but I would say this is the next best time."
He added all of the government partners were interested in having the Championship here and the financial
benefits are a bonus. The city not only reaps a financial reward, it also improves itself culturally by
hosting eight other nations. "It’s a win-win situation," MacDonald said.