With 14 months still to go before the puck drops on the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championships here, organizers already anticipate a huge economic impact for the city.
Ticket sales are brisk, with 68 per cent sold to date, and sponsorships are on pace to meet targets — meaning Ottawa as host city can expect its projected windfall of $50 million in economic activity once the games start, said event general manager Bob O’Doherty.
“All these people are coming into town and spending money in the community,” he said. “It’s the first time Ottawa ever had the opportunity to host the event, which has become a part of the fabric of our society,” O’Doherty said.
The event will run Dec. 26, 2008 to Jan. 6, 2009 at Scotiabank Place and the Ottawa Civic Centre and feature the best under-20 hockey players from 10 countries.
In an update yesterday, organizers said 270,000 of 397,000 available tickets have been sold through an exclusive pre-sale to season ticket holders and sponsors.
“We remain on pace to make this event the most attended and most financially successful … ever,” said Eugene Melnyk, chairman of the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship host organizing committee.
Hockey Canada also announced yesterday that Team Canada will hold part of its training camp and pre-world junior preparations at the Canadian Forces Base in Petawawa.
“The hockey community has shown fantastic leadership in demonstrating support for our Canadian Forces family,” said Chief of Defence Staff General Rick Hillier, who was on hand for the update.