ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO, TO HOST 2016 IIHF ICE HOCKEY U18 WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
ST. CATHARINES, Ont. – Hockey Canada announced Tuesday that St. Catharines will host the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship, bringing the event to Ontario for the first time.
All 22 games at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship will take place at the brand-new Meridian Centre in January 2016, with more details to be announced at later dates.
The Ontario Women’s Hockey Association, in partnership with the Niagara Sport Commission, was one of two groups to submit a bid to host the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship. Site visits and in-person presentations were made by both prospective host communities last spring.
The site selection committee consisted of Karen Phibbs (director, Hockey Canada Board of Directors), Scott Smith (chief operating officer, Hockey Canada) and Mike Ross (chief business officer, Hockey Canada). Following the selection process, the site selection committee recommended St. Catharines as host of the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship to the board of directors, which approved that recommendation.
“The IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship is quickly becoming one of the must-see events on the women’s hockey calendar, and we’re thrilled to take the world championship to St. Catharines in 2016,” said Tom Renney, president and CEO of Hockey Canada. “With a first-rate new facility, an eager host committee and passionate hockey fans, it’s going to be a tournament to remember for anyone lucky enough to be a part of it.”
“We are privileged to work with both the OWHA and Hockey Canada to bring this world-class event to the City of St. Catharines and the fantastic new Meridian Centre,” said Vance Badawey, chair of the Niagara Sport Commission. “Being able to showcase to the world the phenomenal inventory of attractions throughout both the City of St. Catharines and the entire Niagara Region is an exciting opportunity for Niagara. Bringing this prestigious event to St. Catharines is an incredible next step for sport tourism within Niagara and helping to showcase St. Catharines and Niagara as a year-round tourism destination.”
“We are thrilled to work with Hockey Canada and the Niagara Sport Commission to host this prestigious event and welcome the world to Ontario,” said Fran Rider, president of the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association. “The 2015-16 season will truly be a celebration of female hockey in our province; first, the top players from across Canada will go for gold in November 2015 at the National Women’s Under-18 Championship in Hunstville, Ont., followed by the chase for a world title in St. Catharines.”
“With an estimated local economic impact of $4.2 million, we’re excited that St. Catharines will host the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship at our new Meridian Centre in 2016,” said Mayor Brian McMullan. “I want to thank all the partners for their efforts to bring this championship to St. Catharines as it is a prime example of the kind of events we can now draw to our community.”
The 2016 tournament will mark the second time that Canada has hosted the world championship; Calgary, Alta., played host to the inaugural tournament in 2008.
The IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship is a showcase event for the future of women’s hockey; 16 players who were on the ice for the gold medal game at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games competed at the U18 world championship, seven for Canada and nine for the United States.
Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team has appeared in every gold medal game at the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship, winning four gold medals (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014) and three silver (2008, 2009, 2011).