The Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) and its partners Okanagan Hockey Group, OVG360, Travel Penticton and the City of Penticton has reached an agreement for a 10-year agreement (five years, with an additional five-year renewal clause) to host the Western Championships beginning in March 2024.
“I’m excited that our Western Championships will call Penticton home for the next decade,” says Kevin Goodwin, the Chief Operating Officer of the CSSHL. “Our organization is committed to excellence on and off-the ice and Penticton is known across the country for the same commitment. Having a dedicated home base for the playoffs will allow for teams and sponsors to plan more easily. This is a win-win for everyone – the players, the families and local businesses.”
Over the length of the contract, it is estimated the economic impact to Penticton will be close to $40 million. This month’s tournament features 86 teams and roughly 1,900 players and staff who are competing in the CSSHL Western Championships over a period of two weeks. Roughly 4,000 spectators are expected to attend the event. The sponsorship agreement, worth $100,000 per year, will see the number of participants increase to 95 Western Division teams next season as Penticton becomes host of the CSSHL’s Western championships.
“We saw the impact that tourism has on Penticton as we returned to large gatherings last summer,” says Mayor Julius Bloomfield. “There’s the energy brought by visitors to our community and there is the economic impact of the dollars they bring in. It’s important we continue to market ourselves as a destination, provide visitors and residents with annual events to look forward to and that’s what these investments do. In particular, we’re looking to expand the tourism season and these championships will bring much welcomed visitors into town during a traditionally slower time providing an economic boost.”
“OVG360 and the South Okanagan Events Centre (SOEC) Complex is thrilled to continue being a part of such a tremendous event and look forward to hosting another 10 years of CSSHL championship hockey in Penticton.” – Dean Clarke, General Manager of the SOEC Complex and Regional Vice President of OVG360.
The head of Visit Penticton board notes the competition for signature events is competitive and many other municipalities would be keen on taking away some of these events.
“This is about continuing partnerships that have proven successful and building on them,” says Jessica Dolan, Chair of the Travel Penticton Board of Directors. “It’s also about keeping our edge. The CSSHL is going to offer a tremendous economic boost in a month that is traditionally a bit slower. These investments are vital to our still recovering economy.”