World juniors a massive success
WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency
|Team Canada salutes the crowd at the Saddledome in Calgary during a record-setting haul during world juniors in January. (Jim Well/QMI Agency)
The home team couldn’t score gold, but the host country has plenty of loot to show for the 2012 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships.
Hockey Canada has announced the wildly successful international event, which was split between the Saddledome in Calgary and Edmonton’s Rexall Place, will result in an injection of more than $22 million in grassroots hockey initiatives.
The previous record was just over $15 million in world junior donations, which was established by Saskatoon/Regina in 2010.
“We’ve blown right through what even our most optimistic projections were,” said Jim Peplinski, a former Calgary Flames forward and the co-chair of the tournament organizing committee.
Team Sweden won gold at the 10-team tourney, while Russia settled for silver after a wild final game and Canada claimed the bronze.
The list of winners, though, doesn’t end there.
The final tally won’t be known until an audit is complete, but Hockey Canada announced the guaranteed figures include more than
$9 million for national federation programs, at least $6.6 million to the Canadian Hockey League for development and its scholarship fund and more than $950,000 to the host committee and Hockey Alberta. According to a study by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance, the 12-day event drummed up a total economic impact of $86.2 million. That includes expenditures of more than $14 million from about 30,000 out-of-town guests.
For Peplinski, it’s the show that fans were treated to that really sticks out.
“For me, it was never about the numbers. For the Flames, it was never about the numbers,” Peplinski said. “(Flames president) Ken King asked me a question about a year ago. He said, ‘What would make this event memorable?’ We talked about some of the numeric elements but more about giving the fans of Alberta and across the country an experience.
“That’s the part you can’t give a number to. And when
I had a chance to stop and look around at the fans ... that’s what really makes me proud.”
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