It’s now official, Rogers Hometown Hockey is coming to Belleville and the city is putting up some money to help it happen.
Rogers Hometown Hockey tour is an NHL season hockey festival visiting cities with live entertainment, NHL alumnae visits, and lots of community events.
In the festival there are fundraising opportunities for local hockey organizations, and community promotion through digital and social media through Rogers Sportsnet and Hometown Hockey outlets.
Belleville Chamber of Commerce CEO Jill Raycroft told council it will showcase Belleville nationally.
The showcase attracts crowds during a live pre-game and NHL game broadcast led by popular hosts Ron McLean and Tara Slone. It’s viewed by one million people and is expected to draw 10,000 people to the venue during the broadcast.
It’s predicted the events will bring in a gross economic impact to the area of $1 million.
Raycroft said no decision has yet been made but the venue could be the Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre or Downtown Belleville, possibly making some use of the Belleville Armouries. The Chamber will organize the event on behalf of the city.
As many as 50 local residents will be hired to be ambassadors for the weekend. Booths will be available for local charities and agencies.
Five minor hockey organizations will represent the area as weekend all-stars.
City council approved $50,000 for the event to be held February 24 and 25.
This money will be used for things such as lighting, barricades, washrooms, security, backup power and emergency services.