Hockey fans aren’t the only ones excited that the Heritage Classic will be coming to Regina this October.
Hotels, restaurants and the rest of the city’s tourism sector can’t wait to host thousands of people who come to town to see the Winnipeg Jets play the Calgary Flames.
Mayor Michael Fougere said he expects $15 million to be infused into the economy because of the event, while the Regina Hotel Association predicts roughly 5,000 hotel nights will be booked in and around the Oct. 26 event.
“It’s definitely going to bring a great profile to Regina, but also have a great impact on our local economy,” said Regina Hotel Association CEO Tracy Fahlman. “We have been working with the NHL over the last couple of months to showcase our hotels, they liked what they saw, so we’re really pleased that they’re making this announcement.”
Fahlman said Regina has significantly increased hotel room capability over the last five years which has helped make hosting events like the Heritage Classic possible.
“We’ve grown our accommodation sector by 30 per cent in the last five years, added almost 1,000 new hotel room nights into the market. We are in the strongest position ever to host major national and international events,” she said.
Fahlman said she expects the capacity and scope of the event to be on a similar level to the Brier which Regina hosted in March of 2018.
She believes that having hosted events like the Brier, the CP Women’s Open and the Memorial Cup last year shows potential event hosts that the city has what it takes to pull off large-scale events.
“Regina is known as a very strong event destination and that is huge for our hospitality industry … we count on having a vibrant event destination and we are achieving it,” she said.
And Regina’s mayor believes that hosting a large scale event like the Heritage Classic will lead to more big events at Mosaic Stadium.
“This is the best stadium in Canada and one of the best in North American and I know when I spoke with NHL officials previously they were saying this is a wonderful facility to have here,” Fougere said.