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Ontario pledges $4M to World Junior Championship 2025 in Ottawa

Cyril Leeder, president and chief executive officer of the Ottawa Senators; Neil Lumsden, Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport; and Mayor Mark Sutcliffe pose at the Canadian Tire Centre. (Leah Larocque/CTV News Ottawa) Cyril Leeder, president and chief executive officer of the Ottawa Senators; Neil Lumsden, Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport; and Mayor Mark Sutcliffe pose at the Canadian Tire Centre. (Leah Larocque/CTV News Ottawa)
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The Ontario government is providing a big boost to Ottawa to help host the World Juniors Hockey Championship in 2025.

On Thursday, the Doug Ford government pledged $4 million in funding for the championship set to begin Dec. 26, 2024 and run until the first week of January 2025.

Neil Lumsden, Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, made the announcement at the Canadian Tire Centre.

"The Nation’s Capital will again be a destination for the World Juniors. And that destination brings people that are interested in being here for sport and what sport represents in our community."

The tournament will include 29 games and exhibition contests.

The Canadian Tire Centre will be the main venue for the tournament, hosting 17 games, including the semi-finals, bronze and gold medal matches. Fourteen games will be held at the TD Place Arena.

The tournament was last held in Ottawa in 2009, when the Canadians captured their 5th straight gold medal and defeated Sweden in the final.

Most people in Ottawa remember the semi-final game and Jordan Eberle’s game-tying buzzer-beater goal. Even Mayor Mark Sutcliffe recalls being there for the game.

Sutcliffe said hockey fans have a lot to look forward to and estimates the tournament could generate about $50 million for the city.

“I think it is ideally suited to our city, we have the facilities for it, we have the hockey fans, we have the volunteers and we love the game of hockey. It is so important to our country and to our city,” Sutcliffe said.

Cyril Leeder, president of the Ottawa Senators, reflected on the atmosphere inside the Canadian Tire Centre when the tournament was held last time.

"This building will be 28-years-old next month, and I can say unequivocally that the 2009 World Junior Championship was the most dramatic, the most entertaining and memorable event we have ever hosted at the Canadian Tire Centre," he said.

"Don't know how we can top that, but we are going to give it our best shot.”

Hockey Canada says the tournament will generate $80.5 million for Ontario.

Dean McIntosh, senior vice-president at Hockey Canada says an estimated 60 million people worldwide watch the tournament that is broadcast on TSN and RDS.

"There are hockey fans around the world that will see the great atmosphere in this building and the TD Place Arena and really understand what hockey is all about," McIntosh said.

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