The last time Saskatchewan hosted the World Junior Hockey Championships (2009), the buzz word was “guarantee.”
Host centres had to prove to Hockey Canada, and to the International Ice Hockey Federation, that they could write a huge cheque.
Priorities may have changed. It’s a given that the most profitable World Junior Championships are in Canada, or in the U.S.A. near the Canadian border. From 2000 to 2008 Canada hosted this event twice in a nine-year span.
When Toronto and Montreal host the championships starting this December, it will mark the fifth time in nine years that the event will be in Canada. The reason, money. It’s what makes the world go around.
Canada is a small country. There are only so many centres that can host an event such as the World Junior Hockey Championships. It’s probably best if Hockey Canada and the IIHF let passionate Canadian cities but their best bids forward, and not try to set a price for an event that has more potential here than anywhere else.