Before we applaud USA Hockey and the Sabres for putting the 2011 world juniors in Buffalo, let's clear up a few "facts" from the news conference in case any of you heard it or saw it:
1. The Sabres did not sell out every game last season.
2. Tom Golisano was not involved in building HSBC Arena.
3. Gary Bettman is not the commissioner of the NFL.
4. As unbelievable as this region is, Detroit is still Hockeytown. Its youth programs are legendary, and its team has control of the Stanley Cup.
OK, with that out of the way, it's great that the world juniors are coming. It will bring millions of dollars into the community (and the guess here is most of them will be loonies and two-nies). And it's a wonderful chance to see intense hockey by the future stars of the NHL.
Larry Quinn, who by all accounts did a masterful job selling Buffalo to the decision-makers at USA Hockey, also said the waterfront will have stores there by the time the teams from 10 countries arrive at Christmas 2010. It will be nice to showcase the area.
"This is a huge win for Buffalo and all of hockey-loving Western New York," Sen. Charles E. Schumer said in an e-mail. "As soon as the puck hit the ice, all hands -- especially the Sabres -- fought hard to bring the 2011 world junior hockey championships to Buffalo because this marquee event will bring much-needed tourism dollars and first-rate hockey talent from around the world into Western New York."
My only concern for the locals is the price. According to the tournament Web site, a Gold Package with seats for all 31 games is $1,240 ($40 per ticket). Lower-bowl seats for just the 17 games in HSBC Arena come to $833 ($49 per ticket), while 300 level ducats are $493 ($29). Seems like the prices are geared more toward the folks in Toronto, who certainly will scoop them up.
Still a good day.
taggedWorld Junior Championships