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Nanaimo Clippers to bid for national championship hockey tournament

The Nanaimo Clippers hope the Harbour City will be a gathering place for the best of the best in junior A hockey in 2021.

The B.C. Hockey League club announced today an intention to bid for the Royal Bank Cup national junior A hockey tournament.

The annual round-robin-style tourney brings together champions from leagues across the country.

“This is a huge event that will bring millions of economic dollars into the city of Nanaimo not to mention plenty of publicity for the Harbour City,” said Wes Mussio, Clippers owner, in a press release.

Clippers director of business operations Tali Campbell and Clippers coach and general manager Darren Naylor will spearhead the bid committee.

Campbell told the News Bulletin he thinks Hockey Canada will be swayed by such factors as the love of hockey in Nanaimo, the ability to put together an organizing committee, and municipal support. He said the Beban Park venue will work well with the proximity of the practice ice at Cliff McNabb Arena and meeting rooms at the social centre.

“I think Nanaimo’s got a great chance,” Campbell said. “One thing that Hockey Canada looks for is the community itself, can they host large-scale events? And Nanaimo’s been known to do that.”

Nanaimo last hosted the Royal Bank Cup in 1998 and hosted the Western Canada Cup in 2013.

The Chilliwack Chiefs hosted the RBC Cup last May and received provincial grants of $40,000 from the tourism events program and $7,500 from Hosting B.C.

Anyone interested in being part of Nanaimo bid process is asked to e-mail tali@nanaimoclippers.com.