Major Junior Hockey Is Big Money

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Major Junior Hockey is Big Money May 30, 2012 10:40 AM

Junior hockey is big Money people, dont think for one second it isnt. NHL money, Championship Tournament money, Development money, Sponsorship money and Gate Revenue. It adds up to dollars that junior teams in the US could only imagine.

We saw that last week in Shawinigan. Every hotel in the city was fully booked. The same was true for accommodations in neighboring Trois-Rivières. There was not a room to be had for a 100 mile radius.

The Canadian Hockey League’s gamble on Shawinigan paid off last week, however those rewards were miniscule compared to the profits produced at the World Junior Championships this year in Alberta.

At Hockey Canada’s annual meeting last weekend, the governing body tabled a preliminary report on the event. It showed a profit in excess of $22 million, which is why Canadian cities are lined up to host the event.

Hockey Canada will get $9 million to support grassroots programs across the country. A piece of that will go toward recruiting young players and another piece will be devoted to developing the game. Hockey Canada also retains $3 million to help attract future tournaments.

The CHL, gets $6.6 million. Most of that money will go into the scholarship program for major-junior players. The three major-junior leagues announced last week that they spent $5.2 million on scholarships this past school year for 545 active and 722 former players. That’s a lot of money until you do the math; it averages out to $4,100 a player, which doesn’t cover tuition at most Canadian universities.

The average cost for one year of Canadian University education is $10,000.00. Much less than the average for a major US university, but still the Major Junior average does not do enough for the player needing an education.

Hockey Alberta gets $950,000, while the other 12 branches across the country get $165,000 each.

The International Ice Hockey Federation receives $1.5 million, while the other nine federations represented in the tournament will divide $450,000. Thats right, $50,000.00 for each of nine federations. In the big scheme of things a paultry sum.

Are the rich getting richer? It sure looks to be a system that is not balanced to benefit the many. This kind of income stream is certainly one that should be looked at by USA Hockey, and if ever achieved, should be one more equally distributed to the benefit of all.

Kevin Kelly

Information for this article was gathered from Hockey Canada, Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, Quebec Tourism and independent sources.

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