Last Friday, Invest Buffalo Niagara hosted several Canadian businesses at New Era Field for the first-ever outdoor game in the history of the World Junior Hockey Championships. The matchup pitted North American rivals USA vs Canada and the game lived up to its promised hype and then some.
Our guests were made up of prospective clients who are actively considering the Buffalo Niagara region as a business location, as well as previous wins we’ve helped expand to the region. The Canadian market, specifically southern Ontario, has proven very fruitful for Buffalo Niagara. Our proximity to the Greater Toronto Area, cost effectiveness, and cross-border business expertise have proven very attractive to Canadian companies thinking U.S. expansion. Many start at first with a small sales office or distribution center to establish a U.S. headquarters, and many find early success and expand from there.
The World Juniors being in Buffalo presents a great opportunity for our region to showcase its recent economic development achievements and quality of life unique to this area. One thing we know to be true anecdotally is the power of an in-person visit to Buffalo Niagara. Our region almost always leaves a positive and lasting impression on visitors, lending a new perspective that they can then share to their own networks. The World Juniors, drawing fans from across the globe (and very heavily from Southern Ontario), helps that progress.
The actual game was a thriller, with a late comeback and eventual shootout win by the USA, all while lake effect snow created an unforgettable “snow globe” atmosphere. With a box full of Canadian fans, we were gracious winners, of course.
Special thanks to Pegula Sports & Entertainment, the owners of the Sabres and Bills, who donated the suite allowing us to host this great group of Canadian companies.