Ottawa has successfully played host to several major sporting events in the past few years, including wrestling, basketball, volleyball, rugby, and para badminton. The city is fortunate to have both large and smaller sports venues, staffed by experienced professionals who know event management front to back. And while Ottawa is big enough to accommodate many athletes and spectators at its hotels and university residences, it’s also small enough to make it easy to get all those folks from one venue to another quickly and safely. Here’s a peek at some of those successful events.
A collaborative effort
The U SPORTS men’s and women’s basketball finals took place in Ottawa in March 2020—the first time both events had been held in the same location. The tournament was co-hosted by Carleton University, the University of Ottawa (coming off its own successful hosting of the 2019 U SPORTS Women’s Rugby Championships), and Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group. The event used sports facilities on both university campuses as well as TD Place, a large midtown arena used for minor-league hockey and CFL football. Holding games in the bigger venue helped raise the public profile of the women’s finals in particular. In fact, the event organizing committee was headed by three women, representing each host partner. Significant community outreach efforts were associated with the tournament, including coaching support, a 3-on-3 competition, and an injury prevention clinic. Meanwhile, local hotels and many other services saw a boost in business during the event, thanks to the presence of both athletes and spectators.
A new use for conference space
The 2020 Senior Pan-American Wrestling Championships and Pan-American Olympic Qualification Tournament took place over two consecutive weekends in March 2020 at Ottawa’s Shaw Centre meeting and convention space. This was the first time the Shaw Centre had hosted a major sporting event and they rose to the occasion, converting spaces most often used for trade shows and conferences to arena-style setups. The physical proximity of the Westin Ottawa hotel, which is connected to the Shaw Centre, made it easy for athletes to arrive at their competition on time. The event’s timing, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, meant that few spectators were able to attend in person. Despite this challenge Wrestling Canada was “impressed and appreciative” of their collaboration with the Shaw Centre and their team’s ability to ensure a successful event.
A first for badminton
In spring 2019, the University of Ottawa hosted the Canadian Para Badminton International—the first time Badminton Canada has held an event in the nation’s capital. A total of 195 athletes participated in 22 separate events, and all participants were housed on the university campus.
A happy repeat customer
Carleton University hosted the Volleyball Canada U14 Nationals for the third time in 2019, with more than 1,200 participating athletes and 1,800 spectators. Carleton is one of the few venues in Canada able to host a large-scale event such as Nationals, according to Volleyball Canada. The organization pronounced the 2019 event a “tremendous success” and look forward to hosting future events in Ottawa.
In short, Ottawa has a stellar track record when it comes to hosting sports competitions. Why not consider Canada’s capital as the venue for your next sporting event?