Thunder Bay·Audio

3,000 attended opening day of Telus Cup play in Thunder Bay, organizers say

Fans also spent nearly $10,000 on merchandise, according to Thunder Bay Kings president Michael Power

Fans also reportedly spent nearly $10,000 on merchandise

Members of the Thunder Bay Kings and the Calgary Buffaloes prepare to face off in Monday Night's Telus Cup match-up. (Heather Kitching/CBC)

Organizers of this year's Telus Cup in Thunder Bay, Ont., say they've sold more than 1,200 championship passes for the national under-18 hockey championships.

The event is taking place until Sunday at Fort William Gardens.

More than 3,000 people passed through the doors of the Gardens for the first day of play on Monday.

That includes 2,000 for the opening Thunder Bay Kings game Monday evening.

Around 400 people attended the kick-off game between Halifax and Toronto at noon on Monday, and 600 were in the stands for the 4 p.m. game between Tisdale, Sask., and Magog, Que.

The event generated more than $32,000 in revenue on its first day, Kings president Michael Power told CBC News, including nearly $10,000 in merchandise sales.

"What we're hoping to do is obviously generate a legacy fund to allow the Kings to invest in minor hockey programming for youth that are coming up and want to be future Kings," Power said.

Organizers raised about $250,000 prior to the start of the event through advance ticket sales, grants and sponsorships, he said.

If it can raise another $200,000 or more during the event, it will pay all the associated expenses and allow for the creation of such a fund, he added.