The World Juniors is returning to Red Deer.
Hockey Canada announced Thursday morning that Edmonton and Red Deer will co-host the 2021 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships from December 26, 2020 through January 5, 2021.
Red Deer hosted the 1995 World Juniors where Canada won its third of five straight gold medals. Many cite it as the launching point for the World Juniors becoming the major hockey event it is today.
“We are beyond excited to bring the IIHF World Junior Championship back to our community,” said Brent Sutter, owner, general manager and head coach of the Red Deer Rebels. “This marquee event was a game-changer for the region in 1995, and we’re sure fans from around the world will be embraced once again.”
"World Juniors is more than a hockey tournament. It is our national tradition. Red Deer is honoured to be a partner host city for the 2020/2021 World Juniors, especially given our strong community history of hosting Juniors in 1995," said Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer. "We will build on this proud heritage with our government and hockey partners. Hockey Canada, the Oilers Entertainment Group and the Red Deer Rebels are to be applauded for the hockey and Canadian history we are writing today, and for the opportunity they have secured for us.”
Edmonton and Calgary co-hosted the 2012 World Juniors with Red Deer hosting a pair of pre-tournament games. Edmonton and Red Deer teamed up to co-host the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup U18 tournament in August.
Sutter noted the idea of having Edmonton and Red Deer co-host the World Juniors has been in the works for about two years.
“There’s nothing like World Juniors at Christmas time. For our communities, the city of Red Deer and the city of Edmonton, it’s a tremendous event coming to both cities," he remarked. “When you’re little kids growing up and coming through as teenagers and even playing in the National Hockey League, at Christmas time that’s what you always thought about was World Juniors.”
The 2021 World Juniors will be co-hosted at Rogers Place in Edmonton and at the ENMAX Centrium in Red Deer. Regional economic impact is estimated to exceed $50 million.
Tickets for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship will be available to Edmonton Oilers, Oil Kings and Rebels season-seat holders in the spring, and will go on sale to the public at a later date.
(With file from Hockey Canada media release)
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