The ABCs of Hockey Day in Canada

Two & Out
By James Peters
February 5, 2016 - 4:32pm Updated: February 5, 2016 - 5:31pm

After all is said and done, Kamloops will be happy to have been put in the spotlight this week.

Being in the spotlight is a gift given to us from Sportsnet, ScotiaBank and the organizers of Hockey Day in Canada.

Consider the kind of exposure our city has been getting across the nation this week.

Do you think any amount of money could buy this kind of advertising?

Even if Tourism Kamloops maxed out its budget, it couldn't guarantee this kind of impact.

For some, though, this might hearken back to Vancouver's decision to host the Winter Olympics.

Getting people excited about coming to Vancouver isn't exactly difficult, mind you.

However, spending billions of dollars to build facilities and host a sports event is another kettle of sockeye.

If you want to compare the two, there is no comparison.

Just hosting a national broadcast for a few days does not require any major expenditure.

Kamloops will get far more value for its promotional dollar.

Look at Vancouver and see how many tangible benefits you can find from its decision to host the Olympics.

Most importantly, this is about our game.

National pride is wrapped up in hockey.

Our families are built around hockey.

Parents and children connect in ways that would never happen without hockey.

Quite the opposite with the Olympics.

Rarely has an event been so co-opted by corporate interests, even one that professes to be all about the sports.

Sports takes a back seat to high-priced tickets and corporate glad-handing.

There is one reason the nation is looking at Kamloops this weekend, and it's not because of all of the money that was pumped into this event.

Usually I'm skeptical about events like this.

View this one through optimistic eyes, though.

Welcome the world to Kamloops with a stick, a puck, and a pair of skates.

Xenophobes and bigots need not apply.

Yes, this is Sportsnet and Scotiabank's event, but it is your event.