Joint bid for junior showcase

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:35 AM ET

Calgary and Edmonton on the same side in hockey?

What's the intermission show? Flying pigs?

Actually, the provincial rivals are working hand in hand to try to land the 2012 World Junior Championship, which has already been awarded to Canada.

Now it's just a question of where in Canada, and the two Alberta cities, along with their respective NHL teams, are putting all their weight behind a pitch.

"This will be great for all levels of hockey in Alberta," said bid co-chairman Jim Peplinski. "The Alberta 2012 bid will show that we can deliver the best sporting event in Canada, and that our western hospitality and our legacy of hosting excellence are second to none."

Oilers alumni president Lyle Best will co-chair the bid on Edmonton's behalf. He believes having two major centres and two NHL clubs behind the push puts Alberta on a different level.

"Calgary and Edmonton give this bid the profile it deserves," said Best. "We expect an excellent Alberta bid will have a strong chance on the national stage against the other bid cities."

The tournament, which runs from December 26, 2011 to January 5, 2012, is expected to generate upwards of $30 million in economic impact. The 2009 tournament in Ottawa has already sold more than 440,000 tickets.

WHY TWO CITIES?

"There's two reasons," said Peplinski. "The first is that it's very difficult for an NHL team to give up their facility for the full period of time that's required to meet the tournament's requirements.

"The second reason is that with the synergy that exists between the Flames and the Oilers, it's a unique opportunity to spread the event around the province, give more people a chance to go to it, give more opportunities in the two cities to enjoy it.

"With the Oilers having a junior team and the Flames having a junior team, everybody gets to participate and add value to it. It's the best chance we have of being successful and would be the best thing for the province."


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