Hockey Canada has announced Edmonton and Red Deer will co-host the 2021 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships.

Hockey Canada made the announcement at Rogers Place on Thursday morning, alongside Oilers Entertainment Group CEO and vice-chairman Bob Nicholson, Red Deer Rebels owner Brent Sutter and Culture and Tourism Minister Ricardo Miranda.

Hockey Canada president Scott Smith said it was a two-year process to select a host.

“Through that selection process we certainly identified the home of the Edmonton Oilers as a place where we wanted to be,” Smith said.

“We recognized as well that the completion of the Ice District in its entirety would certainly benefit and lead to greater success for the event.”

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Tickets will be available to Edmonton Oilers, Edmonton Oil Kings and Rebels season seat holders in the spring, and will be made available to the general public at a later date.

“It’s going to be huge. It’s going to be great for the province and to the two cities, Edmonton and Red Deer. We’re going to make this special,” Nicholson said.

“To me, it’s about the game itself, about what it brings to our grassroots,” Sutter said. “I’ve obviously been a part of World Juniors as a coach back in ’05. Bob and I worked together in ’05 and again in ’06 and again in ’14, and there’s nothing like World Juniors at Christmas time.”

The provincial government said it has committed $2.25 million for the tournament.

“Alberta’s towns and cities have long hosted international tournaments and we will make the 2021 World Juniors an event that we can all be very proud of,” Miranda said.

“These championships will increase tourism to the tune of over $75 million in economic activity.”

The City of Edmonton said $57 million of that total will be centred in the capital city.

Hockey Canada CEO Tom Renney said the organization will look at having other Alberta communities hosting pre-tournament games.

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The two Alberta cities are no strangers to international hockey events.

Edmonton and Red Deer hosted the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in August. The eight-team, under-18 tournament featured 10 games at Rogers Place, two games at the Edmonton’s Downtown Community Arena and six games at Servus Arena in Red Deer.

It was the first year the tournament was hosted by Edmonton and Red Deer, which will have it every second year for the next four years, with the odd years taking place in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Edmonton and Calgary hosted the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships in 2012, and the two cities, along with Red Deer, hosted the under-20 tournament in 1995.

Vancouver and Victoria are hosting the upcoming World Juniors. The Czech Republic is hosting the 2020 tournament.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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