World women's hockey championship starts Tuesday
World, provincial women's tournaments in Ottawa this week expected to generate about $35 million for local economy
The women's world hockey championship begins in Ottawa Tuesday, and it's expected to be a big source of revenue for the city in the coming week.
Revenues from both the world championship and the provincial women's championship combined (happening in Ottawa from April 5-7) are expected to have an economic impact of about $35 million, according to Ottawa Tourism.
"It's transportation costs, it's hotel room fees, it's eating in restaurants, shopping in our stores, it's using our transportation system and visiting our other attractions — it's all that lumped in together," said Jantine Van Kregten, Ottawa Tourism's director of communications.
The first world championship game starts at noon at the Nepean Sportsplex, featuring Germany and Russia.
On Tuesday night, the favourites play Scotiabank Place. Canada and the United States are set to face off at 7:30 p.m.
The tournament ends next Tuesday night with the gold-medal match at Scotiabank Place.
Players began arriving last week, bringing with them their coaches, trainers and fans. Organizers hope this week's tournament will break the attendance record, set in Ottawa three years ago, of 16,000 spectators for a women's game.
Geoff Publow works with the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club. He said the championship puts Ottawa in the spotlight.
"This is huge," he said. "Any time you get a chance to host an IIHF championship in your city, it's a big deal."
Fran Rider is president of the Ontario Women's Hockey Association, and she said the sport has grown tremendously since the first world championship hosted in Ottawa in 1990, and that it continues to grow.
"The young girls are now wearing the jerseys with their players' names on the back, they're following the players, they're watching the players as they play in the CWHL, they're excited that they can follow their dreams, too," Rider said.
"They're realizing now that there are opportunities for them as they grow to go into Canadian universities in the CIS."