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London and Windsor drop out of race for 2012 world junior hockey championship

NHL.com @NHL

LONDON, Ont. - A world junior hockey championship was too pricey for London and Windsor, Ont.

The two cities announced Thursday they've stopped pursuing a joint bid to host the 2012 world under-20 men's hockey championship because they couldn't raise enough money to ensure the event didn't incur a loss.

The financial guarantees Canadian cities have put up to host the world junior championships have escalated to the $12.5 million profit Ottawa assures the tournament will make in 2009.

"Both communities reluctantly withdrew the application only after all avenues of potential financial guarantees from the private and public sectors were exhausted," Tourism London's John Winston said in a statement.

"A certified financial guarantor could not be secured to underwrite the minimum financial guarantee to ensure the event did not incur a loss."

The cities have informed Hockey Canada they are withdrawing from the process.

Other cities who filed letter of intent to bid for 2012 are Halifax, Winnipeg and Toronto, plus joint bids from Saskatoon-Regina and Calgary-Edmonton.

Halifax, Winnipeg and Saskatoon-Regina also intend to bid for the 2010 world junior tournament.

Ticket sales in Ottawa are projected to hit 450,000. The city will stage the tournament in both the 10,000-seat Civic Centre and the 19,000-seat Scotiabank Place. The latter is the home of the NHL's Ottawa Senators.

Vancouver held the 2006 tournament in the 16,000-seat Pacific Coliseum and the 18,600-capacity GM Place.

The John Labatt Centre in London holds 9,100 and a new 6,500-seat rink in Windsor is scheduled to open later this year.

Ottawa's financial guarantee was over twice the $5.2 million Vancouver offered in its bid for the 2006 tournament, although the actual profit there ended up closer to $9 million.

Vancouver's corporate sponsorship base was $3 million, while Ottawa was already at $4.8 million in January.

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