Monday, July 07, 2008

World jrs return to Saskatchewan

It's official: Hockey Canada announced Monday that Saskatoon and Regina have landed the 2010 world junior hockey championships.

The Saskatoon/Regina group had been bidding on either the 2010 or 2012 championships.
Hockey fans are about to get pretty used to seeing a lot of this tournament in Canada. It will be played in Ottawa in 2009, Saskatoon/Regina in 2010 and an undetermined Canadian city in 2012.

The reason? The world juniors are a big-time cash cow when they're in this country, with the host cities guaranteeing more than $12-million profit.

Saskatoon's a great hockey city, however, and with upgrades to the rink will be able to pull off a world-class tournament. I never thought I'd want to head to Saskatchewan in January, but that just might be the plan come 2010.



At 3:47 p.m., July 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

World Juniors is a tournament for Canadians. Period.

Hopefully Americans will embrace this tournament in the future as their hockey program gets stronger and stronger.

Americans love their school sports so maybe this tournament could help NHL, too. I'm not saying that it will happen but NHL should help promote this tournament in States.

Hockey is strong in Russia, Sweden, Finland, Czech R., Slovakia and Switzerland but for some reason junior hockey doesn't draw.

Of course, we might be wrong and rest of the hockey world right. Maybe it's stupid to watch on TSN when a 17yr. old kid is cut from the team at 6AM and then Team Canada dominate year after year.

World Championships for men were played in Halifax and Quebec City less than two months ago. We could see Heatley shoot and Oveckhin jump and Lundqvist catch but TV ratings were lower than for junior games.

In Europe men's tournament is huge with Sweden and Finland getting 30-40% of their population watching deciding games. I've read somewhere that 5M Finland had 2.2M watching 1995 final. That's some serious stuff percentage wise.

At 4:01 p.m., July 07, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

It's good to see Hockey Canada going back to some smaller cities again. And it's awesome that it's coming back to Saskatoon.

The tournament plan is for one pool to play in Saskatoon, one in Regina, with the playoffs happening in Saskatoon. But before that, expect exhibition games throughout the province, in other WHL (Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Prince Albert) rinks as well as some SJHL rinks (Yorkton, Weyburn, Estevan, Humboldt, North Battleford).

I was going to buy Blades season tickets anyways. This is a good reason to pick them up now.

I'll buy you a Western if you come by, James.

At 8:29 p.m., July 07, 2008, Anonymous Keith said...

Hopefully Saskatoon sends the Swiss a case of Pilsner as thanks. Bonus tournament given Switzerland gave it up for fear of being relegated before it.

Glad for Saskatoon/Regina, but a little disappointed, as this might screw Calgary/Edmonton for 2012. Hockey Canada will probably want to go back east for that one.

At 1:56 p.m., July 08, 2008, Blogger ryanbatty said...

The World Juniors is one of my favorite tournaments. I was able to get to the 06 tournament in Vancouver and I have tickets to Ottawa this Christmas. It'll be a tough sell to the wife but checking out some games in Saskatoon next year sounds like a hell of an idea to me.

At 2:58 p.m., July 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saskatoon's rink was 'upgraded' with the completion of a new full-size arena about 20 yrs ago.

I think you might be referring to Regina, which has the much-smaller Agridome.

At 3:15 p.m., July 09, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Cripes, read the link:

"Saskatoon's Credit Union Centre will get a facelift before the event with the cost projected between $3.5 million to $4 million. The lower bowl will be closed in with 900 more seats, and the Blades will get new dressing room, fitness centre and office facilities."


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