In three years, Alberta may very well be hosting the 51st International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championships, which is expected to draw more than 400,000 fans to the province throughout the pre-tournament and championship games, as well as support 140 jobs directly linked to the event.

"With global interest in the games from participating countries and hockey fans, broadcasts could reach more than 100 million views of the event worldwide," the province noted.

On Saturday, the province announced that if Budget 2024 is passed, Alberta’s government will provide $11 million in funding to support the 2024 World Para Ice Hockey Championships, 2024 and 2026 Hlinka Gretzky Cups, 2025 and 2026 Canada vs. USA National Women’s rivalry games, as well as the 2027 IIHF World Junior Championship and four years of Hockey Canada summer camps.

Katherine Henderson, President of Hockey Canada said that hosting international games and tournaments are critical to providing opportunities for athletes to develop and compete on the world stage.

"We are grateful that the province of Alberta has made this significant investment to enable these events to be played on home ice, which will significantly benefit each of our programs, including our national teams that are preparing for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games," Henderson said. 

According to the province, the events are also expected to generate a total economic impact of more than $55 million. The 2024 Para Ice Hockey Championships will be the first of the funded major events held in the province.

The tournament will take place from May 3-12 in Calgary and will welcome eight international teams including Canada, China, Czechia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Slovakia and the USA.

"The event will draw in visitors from around the world, bolster hotel bookings and increase activity at local businesses resulting in an economic impact of about $2 million. Canada and Alberta’s para ice hockey players continue to knock down barriers in the world of sports, champion inclusion and show that hockey is for everyone."

The province is expected to release the budget on Thursday, February 29. 

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