The 2023 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship set to begin this December, was scheduled for Russia, but the International Ice Hockey Federation pulled the event because of the invasion of Ukraine.
CTV has learned Halifax and Moncton are now preparing a joint bid to host the event at Scotiabank Center and the Avenir Centre. Formal bids to host the tournament are due next week and a decision should be made by the end of April.
Fred MacGillivray was the chair of the tournament almost 20 years ago when Halifax and Sydney established record breaking success.
“It really moved the event to a new level,” said MacGillivray. “Hockey Canada told me that several times.”
A World Junior Hockey Championship return would be a major money maker for both downtowns.
“It would make up for some of our losses over the past two years,” said bar manager Colin Grant.
Hockey broadcaster John Moore said the biggest obstacle would be Halifax and Moncton providing they can successfully host this event just nine months from now.
“The track record is there,” said Moore. “They’ve done it and it was an overwhelming success and perhaps the most successful world juniors ever.”
TSN broadcaster Gord Miller offered his opinion on Montreal radio last night.
“They have the infrastructure there and they were supposed to have the Women’s World Championship but the provincial government shut that down so they are kind of owed one,” said Miller. “Quebec City, maybe Seattle and Vancouver. But Halifax, if they throw their hat in the ring would be a front runner for me.”
MacGillivray said there are key strategies for local organizers to consider.
“Let’s talk about the volunteers that we have to bring together to lead this,” said MacGillivray, who added there is a top strategic priority as the bid process pushes ahead. “Getting the tickets sold.”
MacGillivray is confident both Halifax and Moncton would draw capacity crowds next December and January.