Pegula Sports and Entertainment, the Buffalo Sabres, Visit Buffalo Niagara and the Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission are working to prepare local attractions, hotels, restaurants and breweries for the upcoming influx of visitors expected for the 2018 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship .
These entities held an informational session on Wednesday afternoon to let the Buffalo tourism industry know what to expect when the tournament comes to Buffalo from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5. The core group of teams and officials are expected to conservatively generate $7 million in economic impact and occupy 7,300 hotel room nights, and the tournament will bring thousands of visitors to downtown Buffalo. Teams from Canada, Finland, Denmark, Slovakia, Belarus, Russia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and the United States will be competing.
Information imparted at Wednesday’s session included:
The schedule, ticketing information, sponsorship opportunities and timeline of the coming tournament, which will stretch for 11 days. More on the tournament, including the outdoor game to be played at New Era Field, can be found at http://www.buffaloworldjuniors.com/.
– VBN’s dozens of volunteers will staff over 500 volunteer hours outside KeyBank Center and at the host hotels, armed with relevant maps, the official WJC fan guide printed by the Buffalo News and other pertinent information to make sure visitors have what they need. Anyone still interested in volunteering for the event can go to www.visitbuffaloniagara.com/volunteer .
The Visit Buffalo Niagara/ Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission Tweet team will assist Pegula Sports and Entertainment with social media engagement, promoting #WJCinBUF to visitors and the hospitality community to maximize communication during the game.
A plan for ground transportation, including a ridesharing pickup area at the corner of Washington and Scott Streets, and the coordination of the NFTA’s light rail with the games.
The information session is part of a larger strategy to make Buffalo as visitor-friendly as possible to ensure the tournament keeps coming back in future years.
“It’s remarkable to see how much our destination has transformed since the last World Juniors came here seven years ago,” Visit Buffalo Niagara and Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission President and CEO Patrick Kaler said. “We’re excited to provide these visitors with a first-rate experience in our resurgent destination and create a new group of Buffalo ambassadors around the world.”