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“Normally, we’re able to raise money and leave a legacy behind in the province where we host this event,” he said. “But no fans (means) no ticket sales. We wanted to find a way where we could still leave a legacy.”
The money raised will go to a variety of Hockey Alberta programs around the province, he said, including community programs, coaching and equipment purchases.
“And then we’re really working to see where we end up after this event to try and build out a few new initiatives for the next year,” he said.
Albertans have proven more than willing to open their wallets for online 50/50 draws. When tickets were sold during the NHL’s return this year the province broke multiple records and the interest was so high that it overwhelmed the system and caused delays.
Wiwchar said the decision to move these draws online was in part motivated by the popularity of earlier events. He said Albertans have always been keen on 50/50 draws, breaking records in 2012 when the World Juniors were in the province last.
“Alberta is the best for 50/50,” he said.
Wiwchar said he’s confident there is the infrastructure in place to manage if these draws reach record levels. He said that following what happened during the NHL games, Hockey Canada made sure its system was sound and operating at its full capacity.
Tickets are being sold for $5 each, 10 for $10, 60 for $20 or 200 for $50 and can be bought online at hockeycanada.ca.
For anyone who can’t get in on today’s draw, there are three more scheduled for Jan. 2, 4, and 5.