Trail knows hockey. And the city is already recognized both locally and afar for successfully hosting major events, especially those involving first class sports-driven competitions.
For those reasons, plus a few more, Coun. Sandy Santori says the City of Trail stands a good chance of being awarded the place-to-be for the 2021 National Junior A Championship.
“We have an unbelievable facility that can accommodate all the requests from Hockey Canada,” Santori told the Trail Times. “It’s a fair competition I am sure with the others that are vying to host these, but I think our chances are extremely good,” he said.
“And people in Trail want it.”
Read more: Smokies team up with Trail
Read more: Canada West captures gold at WJAC
Working collectively with the Trail Smoke Eaters, the city and team officially submitted a bid to Hockey Canada on Monday, one day before the April 30 deadline, in hopes of hosting the high profile competition two years from now.
“I think we have an excellent opportunity in being successful in the bid for a number of reasons,” Santori continued.
“The historical part (being) the Trail Smoke Eaters are iconic, very well known. And secondly, but probably more important, is that we have a proven track record of hosting major events whether it was the Babe Ruth World Series, and the World Junior A Championship we had here a few years back, which was a tremendous success,” he explained.
“Not to mention B.C. senior, winter and summer games, and the complement of all the volunteers we have is unbelievable.”
The city and Smoke Eaters announced in early March that they were working to jointly submit a bid for the hockey championship, which would bring four teams from across the country to Trail for one week in May.
The Trail Smoke Eaters would get an automatic in as host team, which would round out the competition with five teams representing the east, west, central and pacific regions of Canada.
“And the fan base, we have proven that with good hockey, and with good entertainment, that people come out,” Santori said. “The Smoke Eaters have been averaging well over 1,800 fans a game, which is the highest in the league per capita, so I think we have a lot going for us in the regard that we are an excellent hockey town.”
Another interesting detail is that 2021 will mark the 60th anniversary of the 1961 Trail Smoke Eaters winning the world championship.
Read more: Historic meeting for ‘61 Smoke Eaters
“So that is something else that we can celebrate,” Santori said. “We are a hockey town, we have excellent volunteers and we have a proven track record of hosting major events.”
A number of teams and leagues have applied, including Penticton, Salmon Arm and Nanaimo from the BCHL.
Hockey Canada’s decision is expected to be announced this month.
The Brooks Bandits, a Junior A team from Brooks AB, are hosting the 2019 National Junior A Championship from May 11 to May 19.