The cities of Dawson Creek and Fort St. John are looking to bring back the men’s World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in 2017.
Pending approval from Fort St. John city councillors on Oct. 11, the two cities will enter negotiations with Hockey Canada to bring the tournament to the Peace Region for the second time in three years.
Hockey Canada did not receive any bid submissions to host the 2017 U-17 tournament. according to a report to Fort St. John city council.
Hockey Canada’s board of directors has given permission to their staff to enter into agreement negotiations with the two cities to host the tournament, set for Oct. 27 to Nov. 4, 2017.
It was the City of Dawson Creek, however, whose special projects manager Barry Reynard is a director with Hockey Canada, who first approached Fort St. John to see if they’d be willing to partner and host the tournament a second time.
The 2015 tournament pumped roughly $6 million into the local economy, according to a report by Tourism Dawson Creek and the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance. Net profit for each city was around $59,000.
“Our community enjoyed the economic benefits from this event last year,” Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman said in a statement, “but just as importantly, it was a very exciting chance for our own young players and officials to have access to some hockey development opportunities.”
Dawson Creek Mayor Dale Bumstead echoed that sentiment.
“I am so excited about the potential to host this prestigious event again in the Peace Region, which reaffirms our collective event-hosting ability to achieve amazing results for our businesses…and citizens,” he said.
More details about the event and the opportunities for community involvement will come once negotiations are finalized.
The two cities co-hosted the tournament in 2015, where Canada White pounded Russia 6-2 to win gold. Sweden took bronze after beating Canada Red 3-0.
The region is already expecting a busy year in 2017 as it celebrates both the 75th anniversary of the building of the Alaska Highway and Canada's 150th birthday.
—follow @mike_carter05 on Twitter.