The joint candidacy of Quebec and Trois-Rivières has been submitted to obtain the presentation of the World Junior Hockey Championship in 2023. If this scenario materializes, all Team Canada games would be played at the Videotron Center.
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Last week, a potential candidacy of Quebec with Ottawa had been mentioned.
However, Hockey Canada has made it known that its wish is for the Canadian team to settle in the same city for the duration of the tournament, from training camp to the final, including the preliminary round, the quarter-finals and the semi-final.
Archive photo, Didier Debusschère
If the bid presented by Quebecor is accepted, Team Canada would be at work at the Videotron Center next December and January.
Since the two cities obviously intended to bet on the presence of Canada, the discussions led to another avenue. Thus, Quebec has partnered with Trois-Rivières through the project promoter, Quebecor.
For its part, Ottawa, via a partnership between the Senators and the OSEG group, is going it alone.
The other candidates filed Tuesday evening are those of Moncton and Halifax, London and Kitchener, as well as Regina and Saskatoon.
“Discussions with Ottawa were cordial until the end and we agreed that it was better for our two cities to go our separate ways. As we speak, since the 2022 edition will take place in August, we are not sure of the teams present in each pool and it was getting a little risky,” said Martin Tremblay, Chief Operating Officer of Quebecor’s Sports and Entertainment Group.
Hockey Canada will announce its decision in the coming weeks, after reviewing the applications, in order to quickly begin the sale of tickets and the sponsorship process for the tournament, which will begin in December.
For Quebecor, the idea of pairing the cities of Quebec and Trois-Rivières was self-evident.
“Trois-Rivières is one of the major cities in Quebec with a state-of-the-art arena [le Colisée Vidéotron]. There is a good pool of hotel rooms and hockey fans. Geographically, it’s organizationally perfect. On the Quebec side, there is already a market fond of junior hockey that appreciates this product,” indicated Mr. Tremblay.
According to the planned plan, Trois-Rivières would get the matches of the pool B until the semi-final, which would move to Quebec. The relegation finals would most likely be held in Trois-Rivières.
In the candidacies submitted, only Regina and Saskatoon represent the western part of the country. Without jumping to conclusions, it is logical to believe that Hockey Canada could look east instead.
The 2022 edition will take place in Edmonton from August 9 to 20. The 2021 edition was held in the Edmonton bubble. In 2019, Vancouver and Victoria were the host cities of the tournament.
“Our organization is seasoned and has the means to deliver such a tournament. However, it is a highly competitive environment. We have an excellent candidacy, but we are convinced that all the submissions are of high quality and it would be presumptuous at this stage to speak of our level of confidence,” mentioned Martin Tremblay.
According to Hockey Canada’s evaluations, the world junior championship would generate economic spinoffs in the order of $50 million. The event would also attract 20,000 visitors from outside and 15,000 overnight stays.