CALGARY – The 2012 world junior hockey championship in Alberta was a major money-maker for both hockey and the tourism industry.
Hockey Canada says the tournament made a profit of at least $22 million, which will go into hockey programs and facilities.
The Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance assessed the economic impact of the tournament at $86.2 million when factoring in visitor expenditures and tax revenue generated from it.
Calgary and Edmonton were host cities of the world under-20 men’s championship from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5. The tournament drew over 440,000 spectators.
The organizing committees had guaranteed an $18-million profit in their bid for the tournament.
By comparison, the 2010 world junior tournament in Saskatoon and Regina generated a $15-million surplus, according to Hockey Canada records.
Hockey Canada says exact financial figures have yet to be finalized. The governing body of hockey in Canada said in a statement released Friday that it plans to divert $9 million of the expected $22 million into its own programs.
The Canadian Hockey League, who supplies the majority of players to the Canadian team and dozens to other countries, gets a $6-million piece of the pie.
Another $3 million will be set aside for future international tournaments in Canada, which hosts the world junior championship again in 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021.
The International Ice Hockey Federation gets $1.5 million and another $450,000 goes to the countries who participated in the tournament. That arrangement with the IIHF is new as of this year and part of the deal Hockey Canada made to host the tournament four times over a seven-year period.
The host committees, minor hockey associations in Calgary and Edmonton, as well as Hockey Alberta will receive more than $950,000 for projects including upgrades to arena dressing rooms and Hockey Alberta’s programs and provincial training centre.
Another $165,000 goes to Hockey Canada’s dozen member branches.
“In seeing the legacy of this event and the economic impact that it has had on the two host communities, the host province and grassroots hockey in Canada, we will continue to work together with our partners to bring major international events to Canada on a regular basis,” Hockey Canada chief operating officer Scott Smith said in the release.
The Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance estimates the tournament brought over 30,000 visitors to Alberta.