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Hockey Day in Canada generated $4M in economic activity for capital region: commission

The Jan. 17 to 20 event, which included a chance to see the Stanley Cup and dozens of NHL alumni, attracted thousands of fans to Victoria
Thousands attended Hockey Day in Canada festivities at Ship Point from Jan. 17 to 20. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

Scotiabank Hockey Day in ­Canada generated nearly ­ $4 million in economic activity for the region, according to the Greater Victoria Sports Tourism Commission.

The Jan. 17 to 20 event, which included a chance to see the Stanley Cup and dozens of NHL alumni, attracted thousands of fans, filling restaurants, bars, hotels, the Inner Harbour and Save on Foods Memorial Centre.

The sports tourism commission’s Destination International Economic Impact Report said the event also supported 2,369 jobs and generated $627,025 in taxes.

“We knew that Greater ­Victoria really came together for a super-successful celebration of hockey and community, but these numbers show that hosting events like this benefits everyone,” said John Wilson, chair of the Victoria Hockey Legacy Society.

Wilson said the event will have long-lasting effects, as ­people who watched on ­television will come for extended holidays.

“I’m excited to see how our destination continues to benefit from the excellent exposure we received on Sportsnet.”

On Jan. 20, Sportsnet’s 13-hour broadcast was viewed by an estimated 8.5 million Canadians. At any moment, almost 800,000 people were tuned in to watch Canadian teams, while a panel featuring Ron MacLean, Jennifer Botterill, David Amber, Kevin Bieksa and others anchored the coverage from the Inner Harbour.

About 20,000 people visited Ship Point during the main event.

The NHL Alumni Game sold out Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre with 7,000 fans, and a gala banquet packed the ­ Victoria Conference Centre’s largest room.

“There is a power in sports that goes far beyond the confines of an arena or playing field,” said Keith Wells, executive director of the Sport Tourism Commission. “We’re always working on opportunities for sport to add vitality to our region, and the commission looks forward to working with John [Wilson] and the ­Victoria Hockey Legacy Society on future endeavours.”

Proceeds from the event helped the Courtnall Society for Mental Health, which promotes better understanding of mental health through education.

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