Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Kamloops playing waiting game now

Daily News Sports Editor
And now the wait begins.
“I think we left everything in that room. We did the best that we could possibly do,” offered Norm Daley, the chairman of the Kamloops bid committee that is hoping to attract the 2003 IIHF World Women’s Championship to Kamloops.
Daley and his committee were in Calgary on Wednesday to make their presentation to Hockey Canada’s selection committee.
The Kamloops gang batted third, behind Ottawa Senators Sports and Entertainment and Destination St. John’s/Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador, the other two parties still in the bidding.
“I was very impressed with the team,” Daley said. “We had the answers for every question that was asked.”
Daley’s team comprised Mayor Peter Milobar, Byron McCorkell, the director of parks and recreation and cultural services; Barb Berger, the arts, cultural and heritage manager; and Jeff Putnam, the parks, recreation facilities and business operations manager.
The format involved making a 30-minute presentation, followed by a 30-minute question-and-answer session.
Hockey Canada's site selection committee features president/CEO Bob Nicholson, Ken Corbett, who chairs its board of directors; Scott Smith, the chief operating officer; and Scott Farley, the vice-president of marketing services and events.
Daley said his group was working on its presentation right into yesterday morning.
“We had worked on that for the last few weeks and we had worked on that for the last few weeks,” he said, “and we spent quite a bit of time (Tuesday) and this morning tightening it up.”
“Our package and our presentation were first-rate. We had it vetted by Hockey BC and they were positive about what we were putting forward and the plan. I just hope that Hockey Canada and the International Ice Hockey Federation see fit to put it in Kamloops because I think it would just be super for our city.”
Daley wasn’t prepared to spill the beans on what all was in the Kamloops presentation, but did say a big part of it involved sponsorship.
“We had gone out and gotten commitments from a number of sponsors,” he said, adding that the presentation was able to offer proof again of “how Kamloops will step up to the plate and provide help for things. That’s just top rate.
“I just look at Kamloops and I’m just so proud to be a Kamloopsian because they gave us a chance to win this.”
It also would appear that being able to use Interior Savings Centre for the tournament — an eight-team event involving 21 games — also was a large selling point.
“At the end of the day, we’re running a hockey tournament in a hockey facility,” said Daley, who added that should the Kamloops bid be successful it would involve as many as 400 volunteers.
As for the use of other arenas, Daley offered: “That’s something I still can’t talk about. There are some questions around that.”
The tournament is scheduled to run March 31 through April 9, 2013, which would mean something should the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers be in the playoffs that season.
“Those are things that we talked about and that we need to solidify,” Daley stated. “It’s not in writing . . . so I’m not talking about it. But we have done everything in the background to talk with everyone.”
Daley said that his understanding is that a decision could be reached by April 30. Hockey Canada has said previously that it expects a recommendation to have been made to its board “by the end of April.”
“Fortunately,” Daley said, “it’s a short wait. So that’s a good thing.”
And, he said,
“I’m happy, I’m happy with what we’ve done,” he stated. “I think that we did the best that we possibly could. At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to Hockey Canada’s decision and where they want it to be.”
This year’s World Women’s Championship is to be played in Zurich, Switzerland, April 16-25, with the 2012 event in Burlington, Vt.
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