KAMLOOPS — The Women's World Hockey Championships in Kamloops is attracting international media attention, and bringing world class hockey action to Kamloops over the next 8 days.
WATCH: Full story by Reporter Tanya Cronin
Spectators will get to not only enjoy the games, but many exciting events are taking place around the city as well. The city will see huge economic spin-offs as a result.
After months and months of build up and preparations, it is finally here. The 2016 Women's World Hockey Championships have officially kicked off.
Adorned in jerseys, fans piled into the Sandman Centre Monday afternoon to take in the Russia vs. Finland game. It is the first time in the tournament's 26 year history the event has been held in BC, and it's expected to be a big boost for the local Kamloops economy.
"It's a huge event, for the athletes alone I think it's a 4900 room nights, and you couple with the families and travelling people like that, a huge huge impact for us, and the spin-off with all the free media, with all the TSN games telecast, a great event for Kamloops all around," says Peter Milobar, Mayor of Kamloops.
Over the course of 8 days, 8 different teams representing North America, Europe, Japan and Asia, will compete for the title.
"There's a whole bunch of disposable income that'll be spread throughout the city and nowhere does it get spread faster than bars and restaurants," says Frank D'Amore, Owner of Frick and Frack Tap House.
Frick and Frack Tap House downtown will be a hub of activity all week. As the host location for the Czech house, the popular establishment is anticipating a steady stream of team volunteers and fans, the impact to their bottom line, significant.
"Certainly if we were to look at a week last year where there was no event to a weekend like this, I bet you our numbers would be up probably by 25 to 30% easily," says D'Amore.
The 2016 Women's World Hockey tournament will mark the 7th time Canada has hosted the first-class event. For local hotels, the championships couldn't come at a better time.
"When you can bring in a marquee event like this it definitely helps to bring in visitors and create awareness for people that will come and experience it and then want to come back again in the future as well," says Steven Earl, Kamloops Chamber of Commerce.
March is traditionally the shoulder season for the hospitality industry, but with the tournament timed with the second week of spring break, hotels are busy.
"There's an uptick in business, you've got the Women's Worlds bringing those premier teams in but then you have the other two tournaments that have been scheduled around the event as well and media, sponsors that come in to cover the event."
The city will be alive over the next several days, and young aspiring female hockey players will have a chance to watch the best in the world. Canada has played in every gold-medal game in the tournament's history, so it's hoped this year will be no different.
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