Canada West’s Carson Cooper hoists the World Junior A Hockey Challenge championship trophy on Sunday at the Langley Events Centre. Cooper scored the game-winning goal in a 4-2 victory over Canada East. Below: Canada West defenceman Brett Corkey hauls down Canada East’s Tylor Spink behind the

Attendance increases at WJAC

Nearly 22,000 people watched World Junior A Hockey Challenge at the Langley Events Centre

Combined attendance at the World Junior A Hockey Challenge last month was nearly 22,000 people while sponsorship amounts from local businesses exceeded $65,000.

In total, 21,743 people attended the seven-day hockey tournament at the Langley Events Centre from Nov. 7-13, according to numbers released on Monday.

Those numbers are higher than in 2010 when Penticton hosted the same event, attracting slightly more than 16,000 fans.

In planning the tournament, sponsorship was targeted to be at around $40,000, so that amount was exceeded.

Six local hotels also a major boon because of the championships, with more than 1,200 rooms occupied.

“The tournament went really well,” said Riley Wiwchar, Hockey Canada’s manager of marketing services and events.

He pointed out the great volunteer and community support the tournament received

“We know the Langley Events Centre is a fantastic venue and was well showcased for people from all around the Lower Mainland and people that came from out of town,” Wiwchar added.

Hockey Canada does a full review of every tournament they host, listing all the pros and cons. It usually comes out two months after the event.

As for future events coming to the LEC, Wiwchar said that could be a good possibility.

“They would definitely be considered again for future events should they bid,” he said.

“They showed they could put on a great event for the fans.”

“From our standpoint, we want to attract the biggest and the best in terms of events, so we would definitely be interested in hosting any event that can bring together the community,” said Jared Harman, the director of business development for the Langley Events Centre.

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