MEDICINE HAT, AB - Medicine Hat City Council has agreed to provide a $100,000 operating grant to the 2019 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge host committee.
On January 16, Hockey Canada officially announced Medicine Hat will co-host the tournament along with Swift Current. The games run from November 2-9.
Mayor Ted Clugston says the grant is to help the event take place, but that legacy funding may result in the funds not being used.
“It’s basically to help get the event here,” says Clugston. “We may not actually need any of the money.”
The tournament features talented hockey players from around the world under the age of 17. This will be the second time the tournament has been held in Alberta, Lethbridge hosted it in 2005.
Hockey Canada says recent editions have resulted in a local economic boost to the host region of up to $6 million dollars.
“We really hope people do get out, the hockey fans,” says Clugston “This is almost a trial or a test run for the U-18, who knows, maybe the Worlds someday, or Juniors.”
City Council has also approved a $750,000 safety net if the event revenues don’t offset the expenses to host it.
“That would go towards the losses of running this event,” says Clugston “That would be a horrific disaster if that happened frankly but we, the city council, have every confidence in the host committee.”
Games will be played at the Canalta Centre will, but Hockey Canada has yet to release a game schedule or any ticket information.
Mayor Ted Clugston has confirmed that Medicine Hat will be hosting the gold medal game on November 9.
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