Hockey Day in Canada boosted Victoria’s economy by $4M: report

Hockey Day in Canada boosted Victoria's economy by $4M: report
Photo: Rogers/Sportnet
Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada envelops Victoria's Inner Harbour in January 2024.

When sports officials in Victoria scored the opportunity to host Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada, they never expected the multi-day event would generate as much money as it did.

“We knew that Greater Victoria really came together for a super successful celebration of hockey and community, but these numbers show that hosting events like this benefit everyone,” said John Wilson, Victoria Hockey Legacy Society chair.

“It went above and beyond our expectations, and it was a positive, feel-good story in January,” he told CHEK News.

The event, which happened Jan. 17-20, netted an economic impact of $3,985,375, supported 2,399 jobs, and generated $627,025 in taxes, according to a Destination International Economic Impact Report from the Greater Victoria Sport Tourism Commission.

“I’m thankful for the Greater Victoria Sport Tourism Commission for crunching the numbers and excited to see how our destination continues to benefit from the excellent exposure we received on Sportsnet,” said Wilson in a news release.

Upwards of 20,000 people visited Ship Point during the main event, reads the release from the Victoria Chamber of Commerce. A gala banquet packed the Victoria Conference Centre’s largest room, while an alumni game sold out the Save-on-Food Memorial Centre.

The arena has a capacity of 7,000 people, and a few days prior, CHEK News met with organizers as they were assembling a synthetic rink at Ship Point.

A big economic win

In B.C.’s capital, Hockey Day event planning and preparation began almost a year before, “and the benefits will be felt in our region for years to come,” says the chamber.

The legacy society produced the event in partnership with Sportsnet, Scotiabank, Destination Greater Victoria, the Province of B.C., and the City of Victoria.

“The committee that got together, 60-plus people, did a fantastic job and the 200-plus volunteers from the community,” said Wilson.

Sportsnet’s 13-hour Jan. 20 broadcast, meanwhile, was viewed by 8.5 million Canadians, with around 800,000 people tuned in at any moment as Ron MacLean, Jennifer Botterill, David Amber, Kevin Bieksa and others anchored the coverage from the Inner Harbour.

The broadcast put Vancouver Island on a national stage and spread beyond Victoria, highlighting and delving into hockey and human stories from across the region.

“There is a power in sports that goes far beyond the confines of an arena or playing field,” added Keith Well, executive director of the not-for-profit Sport Tourism Commission.

“We’re always working on opportunities for sport to add vitality to our region, and the commission looks forward to working with John and the Victoria Hockey Legacy Society on future endeavours.”

Proceeds from the event helped the Oak Bay-based Courtnall Society, which promotes understanding of mental health through awareness and education.

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