Halifax and Moncton, N.B., to host 2023 World Junior Hockey Championship
Last time world juniors were in Atlantic Canada was 2003
Halifax and Moncton, N.B., will host the 2023 World Junior Hockey Championship at the end of this year, just four months after the COVID-delayed 2022 edition is scheduled to be held in Edmonton this August.
"Nova Scotia is thrilled to be selected to host the 2023 World Juniors, which will be the best tournament to date," Premier Tim Houston said Thursday. "We are ready to roll out the welcome mat for the players, their families and visiting fans. I'll be in the arena with thousands of Nova Scotians, cheering at each and every game."
The 2023 world juniors were originally supposed to be hosted by Novosibirsk and Omsk in Russia, but the country lost its hosting rights in February due to the invasion of Ukraine.
Last month, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick submitted a bid to host the under-20 men's tournament.
"We appreciate the hard work and efforts put forth by the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and we strongly believe in the plans they have in place to host a successful event in Halifax and Moncton," Scott Smith, Hockey Canada president and chief operating officer, said in a news release.
We go east! ➡️<br><br>The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldJuniors?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldJuniors</a> are staying in 🇨🇦 – Halifax, N.S., and Moncton, N.B., will co-host the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship this winter.<a href="https://twitter.com/IIHFHockey?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@IIHFHockey</a>—@HockeyCanada
The tournament will run Dec. 26, 2022, to Jan. 5, 2023, in the two cities, Hockey Canada announced Thursday.
"These are two great cities with top-quality venues and passionate hockey fans who support junior hockey," said International Ice Hockey Federation president Luc Tardif.
The last time the world juniors were hosted in Atlantic Canada was in 2003, in Halifax and Sydney, N.S.
"It's often been said that Halifax hosting the World Juniors in 2003, we set a bar that after that was hard to live up to," said Halifax Mayor Mike Savage.
"We may not have been the biggest bid in terms of total dollars, but my sense is that Hockey Canada knows they can have so much excitement here on the East Coast with us and with Moncton."
Officials have not released the bid amount.
Smith said Hockey Canada received bids from across the country to host the tournament.
"The fact that we had a relationship with Halifax, I think certainly gave us a level of comfort," he said.
Since its official inception in 1977, Hockey Canada has hosted the World Junior Championship 15 times.
The 2022 tournament in Edmonton was cancelled Dec. 29, 2021, after just four days of competition. Multiple players tested positive for COVID-19, forcing a number of teams into quarantine.