Edmonton Economic Development Corporation

Edmonton Economic Development Corporation

December 13, 2011 12:19 ET

World Junior Championship Hockey Action Captivates Families Through Holiday Season

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Dec. 13, 2011) - The World Junior Championship (WJC) is the biggest sporting event in the world to happen in December - and it blasts into Edmonton on December 26. "The World Juniors captures the emotions and passions of Canadian hockey fans," says Executive Director, Al Coates. "Christmas, family and World Junior hockey are synonymous."

"People are watching and cheering on Canada. It's become a great tradition," says Tim Garbutt, Edmonton's World Juniors General Manager. "I've been watching since I was a teenager."

This is the first time the high calibre World Juniors have been held in Edmonton. The action will take place at Rexall Place and the first of the 31 games in the tournament is on Boxing Day. "It's a proud moment for Alberta," says Coates, adding, "We work very closely with Hockey Alberta and Hockey Canada."

There are plenty of options for family entertainment throughout the Championships. "We have a World Junior Fan Zone at Northlands EXPO Centre, running December 26 to 31," says Garbutt. "There are lots of activities for kids." The Fan Zone runs in correspondence with the games and fans will love the fact that it's free. Interactive games, including a shooting game, and an Edmonton Oil Kings game, are just some of the activities to look forward to. The Fan Zone will also feature a Hockey Hall of Fame and the Stanley Cup will be on display.

"We've got things planned for the family - and also for people who want to whoop it up," notes Garbutt. Fans over eighteen years of age who want to 'whoop it up', will love the Molson Hockey House, also at the EXPO Centre. "This is a massive area where both ticket and non-ticket holders can go to watch the games. There's a great atmosphere and it's also free."

In keeping with the sense of the family hockey watching tradition, the theme for the 2012 WJC is 'I Was There.' "The theme is all about the emotions and memorable events that surround hockey," says Garbutt. "People of all ages have some memory of something that happened in this tournament."

In addition, country superstar, Paul Brandt, was asked to launch a song entitled "I Was There" for the World Juniors. "We were lucky enough that Paul wanted to do the song and was available. He wrote it and we loved it," says Garbutt. The song is available for download at Hockey Canada. All proceeds from downloads go to the Hockey Canada Foundation for underprivileged kids.

Although tickets for tournament games were sold out in two and a half days, fans wanting to attend games needn't fear: Hockey Canada offers a safe and secure ticket exchange web page where tickets can be purchased from fans selling extras.

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