Montreal and Toronto to co-host World Juniors
Hockey Canada has announced that the 2015 and 2017 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships will be held on Canadian soil, in Montreal and Toronto. The two cities will spilt the hosting duties, with one hosting the preliminary round and the other getting the medal round. It is believed Montreal will get the 2015 prelims and Toronto will host the medal round and vice-versa in 2017.
Canada has a deal with the IIHF which allows them to host the World Juniors every second year. This is gladly accepted as Canada has a reputation for selling out all of its games – even the highly anticipated Latvia vs. Switzerland 8th place game. When the tournament was held in Edmonton and Calgary in 2012, 455, 342 fans attended at least one game, with 18, 722 at the Saddledome for the Gold Medal game. Now compare those numbers to the 2013 tournament, held in Ufa, Russia. The highest attended game was the Bronze Medal match (between Canada and Russia) with 7, 617 fans while the total attendance at the tournament was a mere 110, 175.
Both Montreal and Toronto have their NHL capacity rinks (the Bell Centre and Air Canada Centre respectively) that will be used for the big games, but what about those 6th and 8th place games that – for the average Canadian hockey fan – don’t really matter? Both cities also have their alternative arena that could be used for such games. In Montreal there is the Verdun Auditorium (capacity: 4, 100) is a short drive from downtown and was home to the Montreal Juniors of the QMJHL until 2011. There is also the possibility of the Maurice Richard Arena (4, 750). For Toronto, the Hershey Center (5, 800 and home of the Mississauga Steelheads) is a 30 minute drive from the ACC and is the most likely choice.
These tournaments will give Canadian hockey fans a chance to see the stars of tomorrow and teen phenoms Connor McDavid and Sean Day are expected to participate in the 2015 tournament. Here is what the next eight years look like for the World Junior Championships;
- 2014* Malmo, Sweden
- 2015 Montreal/Toronto, Canada
- 2016 Finland
- 2017 Toronto/Montreal, Canada
- 2018** United States
- 2019 Canada
- 2020 Czech Republic
- 2021 Canada
*The 2014 tournament will be held from Thursday, December 26th to Sunday, January 5th.
** The United States Hockey Association is looking at Detroit or Buffalo as potential locations for the 2018 tournament. Buffalo hosted back in 2011.
Note: All years not in bold mean a host country has been named, but a host city has not been selected.