Kamloops in running for 2013 world women's hockey championship

The City of Kamloops' hopes of playing host to the 2013 IIHF World Women's Hockey Championship will be decided in the next five weeks.

And Norm Daley, the chair of the Kamloops 2013 WWC bid committee, is refusing to tip his hand.

Daley's group is one of three to have officially submitted bids to Hockey Canada for the tournament, which will be held March 31 through April 9, 2013, with Ottawa Senators Sports and Entertainment and Destination St. John's/Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador also filing papers before Hockey Canada's March 4 deadline.

Five groups expressed interest in January, but the Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association withdrew, and the Ontario Women's Hockey Association joined the Ottawa bid.

The three finalists will make presentations to Hockey Canada's site selection committee in Calgary on April 6, and the host will be decided before the end of April.

Daley wouldn't say much about what he and his group plan to present to Hockey Canada.

"It's a bit of a challenge," Daley said. "I've been reading about what the other groups are doing, so I would like to keep as much as we can confidential.

"It's a competitive process . . . we'll definitely want to highlight our success at hosting other events."

Hockey Canada's site selection committee comprises Bob Nicholson, Hockey Canada's president/CEO; Ken Corbett, chair of Hockey Canada's Board of Directors; Scott Smith, Hockey Canada's chief operating officer; and Scott Farley, Hockey Canada's vice-president of marketing services and events.

The Kamloops bid was put together in a "relatively short" period of time, Daley said, as the group had three weeks to get everything in order and send it to B.C. Hockey, which vetted it and sent it off to Hockey Canada.

The 2013 tournament will be the sixth time Canada will have played host to the women's world championship, but it never has been held west of Winnipeg, which co-hosted the championship with Steinbach, Man., in 2007, the last time it was held in Canada.

That might work in Kamloops' favour, but Daley wouldn't say if that would be included in Kamloops' presentation.

"We hope (it helps)," Daley said. "But the Olympics were just in Vancouver, so that is similar in some respects."

Ottawa has played host to a women's world championship before, in 1990, while Atlantic Canada also has held a tournament, in Halifax in 2004. Kitchener (1997) and Mississauga, Ont., (2000) also have played host to the tournament.

Daley said the tournament could be considered similar in scale to the 1996 Labatt Brier national men's curling championship or the 1998 world curling championships.

Eight teams are scheduled to take part in the championship, which will feature 21 games played over eight days. This year's championship is scheduled for April 16-25 in Zurich and Winterthur, Switzerland, while the 2012 championship will go April 7-14 in Burlington, Vt.

"There will be about 25 people per team," Daley said. "We would expect a number of Canadian and American followers to come out and watch, and maybe some Europeans."

Daley didn't say where potential games would be played in Kamloops, only that the presentation would highlight Kamloops' "quality facilities."

"We really want to keep parts of it confidential," he added. "We're very excited to get the chance to put our best foot forward in Calgary."

mhunter@kamloopsnews.ca

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