BUFFALO, N.Y. – March 18, 2015 – Some of the nation’s top hockey prospects will be visiting the Northtown Center at Amherst next weekend.
The USA Hockey Tier I National Championships will take place from March 26-30; a total of 48 teams will compete, 16 teams each from the 14U, 16U and 18U divisions. Local teams from Amherst and the Buffalo Junior Sabres will participate in the tournament.
Tickets will be available at the Northtown Center. An exhibit of several NHL trophies provided by the Hockey Hall of Fame will be on display on Thursday, March 26. Players and their families will occupy more than 3,500 hotel room nights and the championship has an estimated economic impact of $2.5 million.
This is the ninth time since 2003 that the Northtown Center has hosted USA Hockey, according to Bob Schell of Amherst Youth hockey, the tournament chair. Hockey players from as far away as Alaska have traveled to Buffalo for past tournaments.
“It’s the best that American youth hockey has to offer all under one roof,” Schell said. “Teams come in early and stay late. It has a huge economic impact.”
USA Hockey continues to return to Buffalo because of the impeccable service, level of attention received and the Queen City’s great hockey fans, according to spokesman Dave Fischer.
“Our experience in bringing major events to Western New York has been nothing but exceptional,” Fischer said. “We know the players, coaches and their families and fans will be greeted warmly. It feels like a second home.”
This championship follows a successful hosting of a pair of state hockey championships earlier in the month. Hundreds of players converged on the Northtown Center from 43 tier 1 and 2 teams in the first weekend of March. That championship occupied more than 3,000 hotel room nights and generated more than $1 million in economic impact. The following weekend saw 32 tier 3 teams from across the state compete. Combined, the two state championship weekends and the USA Hockey Championships are projected to yield more than 9,000 hotel room nights and nearly $4.5 million in economic impact for the region over the course of March.
The schedule for games and results are posted at http://nationals.usahockey.com/2015tournament . The tournament is presented by Amherst Youth Hockey, the Buffalo Sabres, the Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission and Visit Buffalo Niagara.
The Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission is a subsidiary of Visit Buffalo Niagara that promotes Buffalo and Erie County nationally and internationally as a premier sports tourism destination for the economic benefit of the community by boosting hotel occupancy and encouraging visitor spending.
Amherst Youth Hockey, Inc. organizes and conducts a complete program of recreational and competitive hockey for the youth residents of the Town of Amherst and others. It works to develop in each hockey participant the skills of skating, the skills of hockey, and the proper mix of recreation and competitiveness, sportsmanship, and the concept of teamwork.