After winning the Western Canada Cup (WCC) in Fort McMurray last month, the Penticton Vees are setting their sights on hosting the championship.
The WCC will be hosted by the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Estevan Bruins in 2016. Vees president Fred Harbinson said hosting the championship will depend on how things are going financially with the organization over the next year.
“The economic impact that can have on the community to bring an event like that would be outstanding,” he said.
When asked about bidding for the RBC Cup, Harbinson said, “you’re going to do one or the other.”
“I think getting the RBC Cup would be a longer wait,” he said.
The last time a BCHL squad hosted the WCC was when it debuted in Nanaimo three years ago.
Harbinson said “what better place to host the WCC in 2017 then Penticton.”
“I think winning should have a big part in the process,” said Harbinson, referring to Penticton’s playoff success over the years including its 2012 RBC Cup win. “You look at facility, I don’t think that there is anybody that can touch the facility of the South Okanagan Events Centre and the group that runs the facility in Global Spectrum (now known as Spectra by Comcast Spectacor). Every year we do the Canucks Young Stars Classic. We had the world junior A challenge a few years ago.”
The Penticton Curling Club also brought the Continental Cup in 2013, which showcased the world’s best in the sport.
Carla Seddon, director of marketing for Spectra Management, said their staff is comfortable hosting any level of event. They have learned from hosting various events and from the training they receive from Comcast Spectator, it’s parent company.
Harbinson also said Penticton has the hotels and restaurants near the SOEC to support the event. The overall experience to him would be exciting for everyone.
“I think it would be a great showcase not just of our program or the city, the BCHL and junior a in general,” added Harbinson.