Regina and Saskatoon could host the 2023 International Ice Hockey Federation's World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.
A joint release from Tourism Saskatoon and Tourism Regina said the IIHF requested Hockey Canada to build a hosting plan for the hockey tournament, following the February 28 announcement of Russia's hosting privileges being withdrawn because of its invasion of the Ukraine.
Tourism Saskatoon, Tourism Regina, SaskTel Centre, The Real Centre, Saskatoon Destination Marketing Hotels, and the Regina Hotel Association joined forces to look at bringing the event, which they estimate could bring in tens of millions of dollars in economic impact, to the province.
“Hosting the World Junior Championships is where Saskatoon and Regina shine. Our hosting excellence was demonstrated in 2010 when our two cities hosted the IIHF World Junior Championship. Hockey Canada reported that they had their highest revenues and attendance to date. This is an outstanding opportunity for our cities to come together, initiating growth and distributing economic opportunity throughout the entire province,” said Tourism Saskatoon CEO Stephanie Clovechok in the release.
Humboldt, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, and Swift Current were listed as possible sites to host games.
Saskatoon and Regina are working with local industry and municipalities to "ensure that all the elements required for the business plan and event bid submission are ready for delivery to Hockey Canada on Monday, April 4," stated the release.
The release said the event could have an economic impact of $50 million, attract over 20,000 visitors, produce over 15,000 hotel room nights, and place the province in front of over 120 million television viewers.
“Tourism Regina is proud to be part of a collaborative team that is working to bring a world-class event to our province. This is an incredible opportunity to give our tourism and hospitality sector a much-needed boost as we work to recover from the pandemic,” said Tourism Regina Chief Tourism & Visitor Growth Officer Chelsea Galloway.
The release said a final decision is expected to be made on April 25 and 26.
The tournament was scheduled for Novosibirsk, Russia from December 26, 2022 to January 5, 2023.