“It’s definitely meeting our checklist,” said Dave Hysen, manager of Events and Properties with Hockey Canada. “It’s a phenomenal facility. It’s world class. The staff here is amazing, so we definitely look forward to coming to Truro.”
Hockey Canada announced in January the RECC had been selected as host venue for the World Junior A Challenge tournament in December. The event features six teams – two from Canada, four from other countries – playing 13 games at the facility.
Hysen and fellow Hockey Canada reps Corinne Ethier, coordinator of Events and Properties and Ben Shutron, Manager of Hockey Operations, arrived from Calgary this week to tour both the site and the surrounding community to ensure all was in order prior to arrival in December of the teams and other officials and representatives.
“We ensure that the community and the facility have the proper amenities to host such a prestigious event as the World Junior A Challenge,” Hysen said. “So when we come to the arena we look at dressing room space, media space, scouting space, meeting space, and we make sure that there is a proper working facility and operations here.”
From a community perspective, Hysen said, officials want to ensure there are nearby accommodations and eating establishments that will enable the players to be well rested and fed to help prepare them for game times.
“It’s definitely unique and there’s a lot of opportunity to market the event around this centre alone, not just in the arena,” he said. “And it’s gong to be a pleasure coming here in December and hosting this event.”
Dave Ritcey, chairman of the host committee for the tournament and a former president of the Maritime Junior Hockey League, said being able to host such a high-calibre event is precisely why the RECC was created. And he hopes as many people as possible will get involved in the excitement when the international players come to town.
“It was built for the community, it was built to do things like this,” he said. “In today’s world, you need facilities like this to grow your communities and do economic development and to create excitement around the community. And that’s what this event will do come December.”
Ritcey has previously stated that the Dec. 10-16 event will generate between $2 million and $3 million within the local economy. As many as 160 NHL scouts are expected to be in town as well as people from all over the country and around the world.