The City of Penticton will be throwing in a bid to host the 2021 National Junior A Hockey Championships, which will coincide with the Penticton Vees’ 60th-anniversary celebration.
During the committee of the whole on April 3, council voted to commit $100,000 in the 2021 municipal budget to satisfy the required bid obligations. Having community support from local governments is part of the eight criteria needed to be considered a host city.
According to Stewart Ladyman, chair of the committee organizing the Vees’ celebration, the endeavour to host the 2021 championships is a partnership with the city, the Penticton Vees and the South Okanagan Events Centre. Ladyman said the group needs to complete the bid process by April 30, 2019, to be considered to host the championship scheduled for May 2021.
“We know there are eight other communities in British Columbia and Alberta that would love to host this, and our dream is to out-do them. We are especially wanting to go against Salmon Arm, Trail and Nanaimo who are in the bidding run,” said Ladyman. “I believe this community has a long history of hosting national events. We’ve had quite a few in the last few years and we’ve shown that we have the volunteer power and appropriate accommodations and one of the best facilities to host the event in Western Canada.”
Ladyman said the organizations are considering this a non-profit event, and any “profits would go into a legacy, and our organizing committee would ensure the City of Penticton and the organizing committee determine that legacy for this city and its citizens.” He said the committee calculated a legacy of approximately $50,000 if the city were to host the championships.
“We know that an event like this, which is broadcast daily on Hockey Canada’s website, and then the final game nationwide TSN, brings some basic exposure to this community. It is a 10-day marquee event,” said Ladyman.
Ladyman said they will hear back in June 2019 if the city has been selected as the host of the championships. City staff clarified that while the commitment of the city is $100,000 in 2021, they anticipate seeing $60,000 to $70,000 generated by rent and food and beverage from the event.
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