WATCH: Sports fans have been entertained watching hockey’s future stars at the world juniors but in Victoria, it’s winding down as the city hosts its final games. But even though it’s over, glowing reports are already coming in. Luisa Alvarez reports.
For sports fans, it has been exhilarating in Victoria with the world juniors in town.
From the games that were hosted in the city to the ones that weren’t, fans were taking in the whole experience.
“Because its a hockey city and I think people love good hockey and that is what you are seeing here with the juniors,” said fan Linda Carswell-Bland.
Even though Canada never played a tournament game in Victoria, fans still rallied.
“I’ve seen a few people with signs that say ‘I’m Canadian I cheer for everyone’ and I think that’s so true. Everyone comes out to the games and they cheer for both teams and that’s amazing,” said Marlene Roberts.
But it was underdog team Kazakhstan that won a special place in the hearts of islanders.
And Wednesday, they won against Denmark in the first of three games in the relegation round. It is their first win of the tournament and perhaps the most important as they get closer to solidifying their spot to come back for the world juniors next year.
In Victoria, the tournament is winding down, Switzerland played Sweden and the US played against the Czechs for the last two games held in the capital on Wednesday.
The full dollar amount in economic contributions that came with the tournament won’t be in for a few months but the estimated figure is in the ballpark of $10 million dollars.
“When the numbers do come in its really going to be significant. It’s going to have an impact in the region and more events moving forward, like this is really going to be the end result,” Keith Wells, executive director with the Greater Victoria Sports Tourism Commission.
But, for a tournament of this magnitude, the volunteers are the unsung heroes, though talking to them, they disagree.
“It was worth every minute of it. It’s been a tremendous opportunity to meet the people of Victoria and the people that are passionate about junior hockey,” said volunteer Scott Hooper.