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Truro and Hal­i­fax pre­pare to co-host 2020 IIHF World Women’s Hockey Cham­pi­onship

Truro Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - BY HARRY SUL­LI­VAN

For the first time in 16 years, the IIHF Women’s World Cham­pi­onship will be de­cided in Nova Sco­tia.

Truro and Hal­i­fax will jointly host the ma­jor event in 2020.

e news was an­nounced Tues­day morn­ing at the Sco­tia­bank Cen­tre in Hal­i­fax by Scott Smith, pres­i­dent and chief op­er­at­ing o cer of Hockey Canada, and Nova Sco­tia Com­mu­ni­ties, Cul­ture and Her­itage Min­is­ter Leo Glavine.

“We’re re­ally ex­cited about it,” Truro Mayor Bill Mills said, dur­ing an an­nounce­ment held later in the af­ter­noon at the RECC. “And I guess the big thing too is the im­pact it will have on young women hockey play­ers in our re­gion. So that should be a pos­i­tive thing, too.”

Mills, Colch­ester Mayor Chris­tine Blair, and Hal­i­fax Mayor Mike Sav­age as well as Canada’s na­tional team mem­bers Blayre Turn­bull of Stel­lar­ton and Jill Saulnier of Hal­i­fax were also on hand for the ear­lier an­nounce­ment.

“We are very con dent in Hal­i­fax and Truro as hosts for this event,” Smith said, in a news re­lease is­sued by Hockey Canada. “ ey have a proven track record of host­ing events of this cal­i­bre and get­ting the chance to show­case the best fe­male play­ers in the world on Cana­dian ice is some­thing young fans will re­mem­ber for a long time.”

Hal­i­fax and Dart­mouth hosted the 2004 world cham­pi­onship, which drew nearly 90,000 hockey fans – an av­er­age of 4,400 per game – to the eight-day in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment.

e seven-day 2020 cham­pi­onship will run from late March to early April with both the RECC and the Sco­tia­bank Cen­tre pro­vid­ing venues for the games.

Af­ter host­ing the last world Ju­nior A Chal­lenge in De­cem­ber, Mills said he was ap­proached by a lot of peo­ple who said, “it’s hard to be­lieve this is Truro.”

“In my re­marks in Hal­i­fax this morn­ing, I said, ‘we ain’t seen any­thing yet.’”

Hav­ing the RECC co- host the in­ter­na­tional women’s hockey chal­lenge is proof of that, he said.

Blair echoed Mills’s sen­ti­ments at the Truro an­nounce­ment.

“We will host the best in the world,” she said. “It’s truly an hon­our to be host­ing such a high-cal­i­bre event with the world’s best fe­male hockey play­ers.”

A com­bined bid from Hockey Nova Sco­tia, the prov­ince, the Town of Truro and Hal­i­fax Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity was sub­mit­ted.

To­tal bud­get is es­ti­mated at $3.5 mil­lion with $250,000 com­ing from the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment and ad­di­tional fund­ing to come from Hal­i­fax. Truro and Colch­ester County are each con­tribut­ing $50,000.

But based on mon­e­tary re­turns from past events in other ar­eas, both lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and the prov­ince as a whole can ex­pect the women’s cham­pi­onships to gen­er­ate a signi - cant eco­nomic im­pact.

Bri­tish Columbia, for ex­am­ple, ben­e­fited from $7.4 mil­lion in eco­nomic im­pact through­out the prov­ince when it hosted the tour­ney in 2016, with $6.2 mil­lion be­ing gen­er­ated in Kam­loops alone, ac­cord­ing to Hockey Canada. And On­tario, in 2013, was even more suc­cess­ful, by bring­ing in $14.3 mil­lion to the prov­ince.

Hockey Canada rep­re­sen­ta­tive Dean McIn­tosh said hockey in Nova Sco­tia will bene t from a $600,000 legacy fund fol­low­ing the World Women’s Cham­pi­onship.

It’s es­ti­mated up to 82,000 peo­ple will at­tend the games, ac­cord­ing to a sta re­port to Hal­i­fax coun­cil.

“We ap­pre­ci­ate the con­fi­dence Hockey Canada and the IIHF have shown in our prov­ince and we know our com­mu­ni­ties will de­liver an event that far ex­ceeds their host­ing re­quire­ments,” Glavine said. “We are see­ing signi cant growth of women’s hockey in our prov­ince, and bring­ing the IIHF Women’s World Cham­pi­onship back to Nova Sco­tia will in­spire even more young fe­male play­ers to pur­sue their dreams.”

And Hockey Nova Sco­tia pres­i­dent Garth Isenor said he is “be­yond thrilled.”

“We know from ex­pe­ri­ence what host­ing this event can mean for fe­male hockey in our re­gion and we are con dent this tour­na­ment will leave a last­ing im­pact on the growth and de­vel­op­ment of the fe­male game here in Nova Sco­tia,” he said.

HARRY SUL­LI­VAN/TRURO NEWS

It was an­nounced this week that Truro and Hal­i­fax will co-host the World Women’s Hockey Cham­pi­onship in 2020. On hand to make the an­nounce­ment were, from left, Steve Johnston, chair of the RECC board; Heather Fraser, di­rec­tor of Re­cre­ation and Leisure Ser­vices; Canada’s Na­tional Women’s Team mem­bers Blayre Turn­bull of Stel­lar­ton and Jill Saulnier of Hal­i­fax; RECC man­ager Matt Moore; and board rep­re­sen­ta­tive John Kel­der­man.

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