June 01, 2011
Less than three months after the Sault was awarded next year’s Central Region Midget Championship, the city received more good news after winning the hosting rights for the 2013 TELUS Cup, Canada’s National Midget Championship.
Involving approximately 200 players and officials, along with several hundred parents, fans, scouts and others, economic impact studies from Hockey Canada estimate that the TELUS Cup generates about $1.5 million for the host city economy. This is one of the reasons that Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, a division of the Economic Development Corporation, partnered with Sault Major Hockey and the Sault North Stars to bid on the 2013 event.
Tourism Sault Ste. Marie was involved with the bid for the 2012 Central Region Championship as well. The division also supported Sault Major Hockey in its first-ever Soo Greyhounds International Showdown AAA tournament last year, which attracted 58 teams and well over 1,000 players and other visitors.
“Our solid partnership with Sault Major has been beneficial for local hockey and the local tourism industry,” said Steve Hollingshead, Coordinator of Special Projects & Sport Tourism for Tourism Sault Ste. Marie. “Our community has a long-standing history of hosting top-notch events, and it’s the volunteers, like the folks at Sault Major, who make it all possible. Having the support of the City of Sault Ste. Marie also goes a very long way.”
Meanwhile, as the host team, the Sault North Stars have an automatic spot in both tournaments.
“We’re thrilled to be able to compete at such a high level in front of our hometown fans,” said team General Manager George Parsons, who’s Co-Chairing the 2013 event. “The history of our organization speaks for itself, and we’ll represent our city to the best of our ability.”
The TELUS Cup, formerly the Air Canada Cup, features six teams – five regional champions plus the host – who compete for the title of top Midget team in the country. The gold medal game is broadcast on TSN.
The Sault North Stars have been to the National Championship twice in the past decade – in 2003, when they hosted the event at the Memorial Gardens, and in 2007, when they won the Central Region Championship and earned a spot in the TELUS Cup in Red Deer, Alberta.
“The proven track record of the North Stars went a long way in our successful bid,” said Sault Major Hockey Association President Adam Caughill, who Chaired the local 2013 TELUS Cup Bid Committee. “Our bid also focused on our local amenities and other infrastructure – particularly the Essar Centre – and our overall vision for the event itself, which is to go above and beyond and put on the best TELUS Cup possible.”
These comments were echoed by Mike Murphy, Events Director for Sault Major Hockey, who will be Co-Chairing the 2013 TELUS Cup. “Our city’s reputation definitely played a key role in the bid process,” he said. “The Sault is a hockey town, and bringing this event here, for both the local fans and North Stars, was our primary objective. We’re relying on the local hockey community to come out and support the 2013 TELUS Cup, in true Sault fashion.”
The local bid was officially accepted at Hockey Canada’s annual general meeting earlier this week.
“The TELUS Cup is one of Canada’s most prestigious national championships, and we are very excited to be returning to Sault Ste. Marie to showcase some of Canada’s top Midget players,” said Scott Smith, Chief Operating Officer of Hockey Canada. “Hockey Canada is looking forward to working with the host Committee to deliver a first-class event and creating a memorable experience for the players and fans.”
The Sault Ste. Marie bid was also supported by the Northern Ontario Hockey Association and Ontario Hockey Federation.
Additional details about the 2013 TELUS Cup, including ticketing and sponsor information, will be released in the coming months.