Prospera Centre is getting ready for the 2018 RBC Cup next month. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress)

Economic spinoffs of RBC Cup to be studied next month in Chilliwack

The 2018 Royal Bank Cup is expected to draw visitors from far and wide to Chilliwack in May

Thousands of visitors will be streaming into Chilliwack for the 2018 Royal Bank Cup in May.

So far ticket sales for the Junior A hockey championships are strong, and all the hotels in Chilliwack are fully booked May 12-20.

It’s go-time for the RBC Cup Host Organizing Committee in the final weeks before the first game.

They’re ready to welcome a huge influx of sports fans, hockey players, officials, media and tourists to town, said host committee member Allison Colthorp, who is also executive director of Tourism Chilliwack.

With five hockey teams and their supporters coming from across Canada, the week-long event will generate considerable spinoffs for Chilliwack.

So they’re going to be looking closely at the numbers.

“We will be doing an economic impact study with Hockey Canada,” said Colthorp. “We believe it’s important to see the actual stats, with the hope that we get more opportunities to host another event of this calibre.”

Studies of previous RBC Cups showed the overall economic impact was $2.8 million in Prince Edward Island, with $1.9 million for Summerside itself, the host city in 2013. A total of $3.1 million in benefits in Manitoba with $2.2 million in the City of Dauphin itself in 2010, with 2,250 overnight stays recorded.

“We have a strong host committee, this is a hockey town, and everyone is very, very supportive of this event being held in our town,” Colthorp said.

Those three elements make it more likely the event will be an easy hat trick.

So far, the 13-game packages are moving steadily, and on Wednesday, the single-game tickets went on sale.

The many outdoor adventure, fish guides, and tourism operators in Chilliwack are also lining up to get in on some of the excitement being generated from the event prep.

There’s a Visit App widget for visitors to receive information on other activities happening while they’re in Chilliwack, which will be pushed to their phones and tablets.

The provincial government chipped in $40,000 for a marketing campaign for the committee to attract Vancouverites to the RBC events.

Part of their goal is breaking the previous RBC attendance record of 36,000 people set in 2004.

“Chances are that we will break the record,” said Colthorp. They aim to fill the seats, and are working on a “give-back” program for those with tickets who can’t use them, but wish to donate them.

The organizers and all of their partners have been going at it like gang-busters since the Chilliwack committee won the bid to host the RBC Cup almost a year ago.

Reps of Tourism Chilliwack, City of Chilliwack, Ts’elxweyeqw Tribe Management, Chilliwack Chiefs and local businesses worked tirelessly to engage the community. Chilliwack residents blitzed social media and business owners and community leaders wrote letters of support to be included in the bid package.

It was a big deal when Chilliwack won the chance to host.

READ MORE: We won the bid!

Prospera Centre is the largest facility ever to host an RBC Cup, doubling the normal capacity of a typical arena with more than 5,000 seats in Prospera Centre. The practice rink will be the beer garden site, with lots of entertainment planned.

“Plus it’s the first time the cup is being held in the Lower Mainland, so we’ll be drawing people in from different sources,” Colthorp said.

There are 600 hotel rooms in Chilliwack, and they are almost fully booked for the event. Blocks of rooms have been booked off for the hockey teams, some of whom are still in qualifying rounds. They’ve reached out to neighbouring communities of Abbotsford, Agassiz, Harrison, Hope and more, for extra accommodations.

The host committee has a volunteer base of 150 people, with 55 volunteers working on any given day during the event.

“Because of all our partners, and volunteers, and supporters, things are coming together very smoothly,” Colthorp said.

READ MORE: Third jersey Sto:lo design


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Haley Woodrow, Natalia Rus and Cody Woodrow of Brad’s Contracting getting Prospera Centre ready for the 2018 RBC Cup. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress)

Just Posted

Night patrol on Chilliwack waters leads DFO to seize 48 sockeye and harbour seal from poachers

Charges pending after two poachers arrested for fishing at night

Highway 7 down to one-lane alternating as crews fight Mt. Hicks wildfire

150-hectare blaze prompted closure of a provincial park

Drug-checking started as pilot project in Chilliwack to test for fentanyl

Substance is mixed with water on test strip, and result is revealed in minutes

Chilliwack goes cluck-cluck for chickens ahead of civic election

With an election in sight, urban chickens supporters ramp up their efforts for legal acceptance

Chilliwack basketballers grab gold at U-15 nationals

Julia Tuchscherer and Marijke Duralia led Team B.C. past Team Ontario in the title game.

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

UPDATE: ‘Faint fuel odour,’ ‘sheen’ seen on Fraser River beach after tug carrying diesel sinks

Tugboat carrying up to 22,000 litres of diesel sinks in Fraser River Tuesday morning

Column: Mother orca’s display of grief sends powerful message

The grief of this orca mother may not be visible anymore, but we must not forget.

Seven people with ties to Red Scorpions gang arrested in B.C. drug bust

Delta police have secured 94 charges against seven people, including drug and firearm offences

Second measles scare this summer at YVR

An infected traveller flew out of Vancouver’s airport three times

Judge OKs Weinstein suit, cites casting couch’s history

Actress Kadian Noble can sue disgraced Hollywood mogul for violating sex trafficking laws

Employers to raise salaries 2.6% on average next year: report

Firm points to factors such possibility of more trade protectionism, rising interest rates

PM Trudeau and federal ministers to meet on Vancouver Island

Cabinet retreat will be held in Nanaimo from Aug. 21-23

Most Read