World Junior tickets now on sale – CTV News Atlantic

Tickets for the 2023 World Junior Hockey Championship in Moncton, N.B., and Halifax are now on sale, but some wonder if the recent scandal surrounding Hockey Canada will have an impact on box office sales.

The Hockey Canada controversy stretches back to May of this year when TSN first reported that Hockey Canada had reached an undisclosed settlement with a woman who alleged she was sexually assaulted in London, Ont., by several members of the Canadian world junior hockey team, in 2018.

Since then, multiple big name Canadian companies have withdrawn sponsorship from Hockey Canada and the premiers of both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia considered pulling out of the tournament.

In October, the CEO of Hockey Canada and the remaining seven members of the board of directors stepped down.

David Saldanha is the general manager at the Avenir Centre in Moncton. He said ticket sales are going well, but didn’t directly comment on whether or not the scandal is having an impact at the box office.

“I think it’s created a dialogue amongst the hockey community and I think the dialogue is trending in the right direction,” said Saldanha.

Hockey analyst and scout Craig Eagles thinks interest in the tournament is slowly shifting back to the ice.

“When you focus in on the event itself there’s a tradition there. I think the scandal definitely hurt, but whether it hurt ticket sales for here and in Halifax, that remains to be seen. But the buzz is definitely growing around the event,” said Eagles.

Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton CEO John Wishart said there is some excitement for the tournament, but it may not be noticeable to all. 

“I’d say most of the buzz so far has been in the underground because everyone’s been waiting for the Hockey Canada situation to settle out or get resolved. They’re part way there,” said Wishart. “But the work has been going on behind the scenes.”

Eagles said it’s impossible to ignore the controversy around Hockey Canada.

“I think with the board stepping down, I thought that brought some clarification to the issue and now the focus is on the event itself,” said Eagles.

Events and festivities are being planned at the Avenir Centre and around the city for the two-week tournament.

“Hopefully it will mean for bars, restaurants and cafés extra revenue at a time of year when traditionally they don’t have a lot of customers,” said Wishart. “Christmas to mid-January is often a bit of a dead zone, but that should result in more customers for them.”

The tournament starts on Dec. 26 with games in both Moncton and Halifax, but Canada will play all of its round-robin games in the Nova Scotia capital.

Saldanha was asked if Canada not playing in the hub city will hurt ticket sales.

“Team Canada will always have a presence in any Canadian market for sure,” said Saldanha. “There’s still some world-class hockey to be played here and these games are going to be impactful and they’re going to have some future NHLers and they’re going to be just as memorable as the Team Canada games as well.”