By Tina Comeau
Yarmouth has been selected as the host site for the 2012 World Junior A Challenge. The selection of Yarmouth as the host community came during Hockey Canada’s annual general meeting, which was held in Calgary on Saturday, May 28.
Yarmouth had submitted a bid in early April to be considered as the host site for both the 2011 and 2012 World Junior A Challenge, however Langley, British Columbia has been chosen as the host community for the challenge that will be held this November.
News about the selection of the host communities for the 2011 and 2012 World Junior A Challenges is included in a media release about the weekend’s AGM that is posted to Hockey Canada’s website.
The bid to have Yarmouth considered as a host location was submitted to Hockey Nova Scotia on April 1. Hockey Nova Scotia forwarded it to Hockey Canada a week later.
The bid that was submitted was a joint effort involving the Yarmouth Jr. A Mariners, in partnership with the three local municipal units, the Maritime Hockey League, Hockey Nova Scotia and Events Nova Scotia. The World Junior A Challenge has not been held in Nova Scotia before.
The World Junior A Challenge is a seven-day tournament involving teams from Canada East, Canada West, the United States, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland.
In the week leading up to the submission of the bid in April, a feverish effort was underway in Yarmouth and at the offices of Events Nova Scotia to prepare the bid. At the time the bid was submitted the local Yarmouth committee and Events Nova Scotia didn’t know what other Canadian communities were going after the challenge.
“We know the fans of our Junior A Mariners will welcome this event with open arms, which bodes well for the success of hosting this prestigious event,” Mitch Bonnar, president of the Yarmouth Jr. A Mariners and bid committee chair had said at a news conference when an official announcement of the local bid was made.
At the time of this news posting, the local bid committee had yet to officially respond to Yarmouth being selected as the site for the 2012 challenge.
When it submitted its bid the local committee said the event would draw hundreds of players in town for the duration of the event, along with coaching staff, Hockey Canada staff, media, scouts and other hockey personnel. The championship game of the World Junior A Hockey Challenge is broadcast by TSN.
Last year the event was held in Penticton, British Columbia. An economic impact study said the week-long event generated $2.3 million for the local economy.
Early on it has been said the budget of hosting the event could be in the range of $500,000.
Upgrades would be required at the Mariners Centre to host the event.
Meanwhile Hockey Canada also announced that Summerside, P.E.I. will be the host community for the 2013 Royal Bank Cup, which is the Canadian championship for junior A hockey. The winner of the MHL, of which the Yarmouth Mariners are a member, competes at the eastern Canadian Fred Page Cup for the chance to move onto the Royal Bank Cup.