Updated: World junior hockey championships expected to generate $21M for Red Deer

Priority ticket draw ends at Midnight Sunday

The countdown is on for the 2021 World Junior Hockey Championships that will sweep into Red Deer and Edmonton next Christmas.

When the 2020 tournament concluded Sunday, with Canada capturing a thrilling 4-3 win over Russia in the gold medal game in Ostrava, Czech Republic, the focus turned to Canada.

It’s anticipated the world junior tournament will inject about $21 million into the local economy, and that comes at a time when the region can use a boost in various sectors, Mayor Tara Veer said Monday.

“It is an incredible honour for us to be invited to be a partner city for the 2021 world juniors, and I think it’s a credit to the community,” she said.

The event will be used as a catalyst for minor capital upgrades at the Centrium, including concourse improvements, seating modernization and washroom expansion.

The renovations are needed at the Centrium, not just for the tournament, but for other events such as the Canadian Finals Rodeo, the mayor said.

The city hopes to partner with Westerner Park, Red Deer County and the province to fund the upgrades.

The event will be more proof of Red Deer’s ability to host major sporting events, said Veer, who credits community spirit and volunteerism for that capacity.

“We’ve had a great attraction in recent years in our sports tourism strategy. Certainly, securing the Canada Winter Games demonstrated Red Deer is more than ready to host major sporting events.

“It’s also worth noting that world juniors had changed their model many years ago, and they were partnering with larger cities exclusively. But they have now shifted back to larger city-smaller city markets and Red Deer will be a direct beneficiary of that change in model.”

The end of the tournament means that the groups are set for the much-anticipated event Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2021.

Group B, which will be played in Red Deer, will feature Russia, Sweden, U.S.A., Czech Republic and Austria.

Canada, the defending champion, will be in Group A in Edmonton, in a pool with Finland, Switzerland, Slovakia and Germany.

The emotional connection Canada has with the tournament has blossomed over the years, especially since 1995, when Red Deer last played host. Edmonton co-hosted with Calgary in 2012.

Red Deer and Edmonton also showed their ability to welcome the world in 2018, hosting the Hlinka Gretzky Cup for the first time.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

WATCH: Songwriters discuss what makes a great country tune, creative process

Alberta Country Music Awards Songwriters Showcase was held in Red Deer Saturday

RCMP investigating fatal fire in Wetaskiwin

Wetaskiwin RCMP and the Major Crimes unit are investigating after human remains… Continue reading

The Mustard Seed to launch new wellness centre in Red Deer

A new service is coming to Red Deer to help the city’s… Continue reading

Penhold firefighters handle ‘difficult’ blaze

Penhold firefighters battled a “difficult” blaze Friday afternoon. Fire crews were called… Continue reading

Clearwater County firefighter recruitment campaign deemed a success

A firefighter recruitment campaign is being considered a success by Clearwater County.… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: The basics you need for your body type

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Feb. 1 A Jump Rope Competition will be held at the Abbey… Continue reading

RDC Queens sweep weekend series with Lethbridge

The RDC Queens picked up a pair of crucial wins on the… Continue reading

Photos: Strong turnout for 38th annual Oilmen’s Bonspiel

The 38th annual Red Deer Oilmen’s Bonspiel is well underway at the… Continue reading

St. John’s, N.L., lifts state of emergency eight days after massive storm

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The City of St. John’s has lifted a… Continue reading

Former cabinet minister Peter MacKay announces Tory leadership bid

STELLARTON, N.S. — Former federal cabinet minister Peter MacKay says he will… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $17 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $17 million jackpot… Continue reading

French doctor: Virus from China seems less serious than SARS

PARIS — The lead doctor treating two Paris hospital patients for the… Continue reading

Most Read