HARTFORD, CT – Hartford, Conn. has won the bid to host the prestigious USA Hockey Junior National Championships for the next two years! Connecticut’s Capital City and its sports and convention leaders beat other finalists New York City, Chicago, Dallas and Rochester, Minn. for the boys tournament to be held in April 2014 and 2015. The games will take place at the International Skating Center (ISCC) in Simsbury, Conn.
“This event is a major ‘get’ for our industry because every city wants it,” says Bob Crawford, owner of the International Skating Center of the “Simsbury, Conn., who worked the intensive competitive bid process with the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB). “Greater Hartford has been the host of four national championships since 2001 – three of them in the last three years. But the Junior Under 20 age group is impressive because the athletes will be moving on to NCAA Divisions I and III, and college recruitment decision-makers come and scout the players.”
“Each of the USA Hockey Junior National Championships will generate over 2,000 room nights for Greater Hartford, and the athletes, their coaches and families, and college recruiters will utilize multiple hotels,” explains Curt Jensen, Director of Sports Marketing for the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau. “The projected economic impact to our region from this tournament is more than $2 million in 2014 and again in 2015. While they are here, the visitors will bring new business to our hotels, restaurants and attractions, and thereby generate additional sales tax revenue for our state.”
“Hartford is a hockey city, so it makes sense that the USA Junior Championships take place here in our region,” states Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra. “The Championships are exciting for area residents, having the teams staying in Hartford’s hotels is beneficial for Downtown businesses and it adds to the vibrancy that has steadily increased over the last few years in the Capital City. I want to thank Bob Crawford, the Connecticuct Convention & Sports Bureau and everyone who contributed to making this happen.”
“The Town of Simsbury is thrilled to join the City of Hartford to promote the selection of the International Skating Center as the host of the USA Hockey Junior National Championships,” says Mary A. Glassman, First Selectman of Simsbury. “We look forward to watching the best youth skaters in the country right here in our own backyard, and look forward to the economic benefits from this unique tourism event for businesses in the Hartford region.”
“Connecticut is the prime location for a major junior tournament, with 50 percent of all high school hockey players in the U.S. in the corridor between Washington D.C. and Portland, Maine,” notes Glenn Hefferan, Chairman for the local organizing committee for the Championships. ”In addition, Hartford is within four hours from 35 different Division I and 45 division III programs – an easy drive for college recruiters and scouts.”
Glenn Hefferan also is the Past President of the Metropolitan Junior Hockey League, which is co-hosting the Championships with the Hartford Junior Wolf Pack. Founded in 1966 by the New York Rangers, the Metropolitan Junior Hockey League is the oldest junior hockey league in the nation.
Throughout the days of the Championships, ice hockey clinics and seminars will be held in other area venues, including Champions Skating Center in Cromwell, Conn. and the Bolton Ice Palace in Bolton, Conn.
The 2014 and 2015 USA Hockey Junior National Championships games will be open to the public. For more information about USA Hockey and its schedules for upcoming events, visit www.usahockey.com.