Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

NHL looks to grow in China ahead of 2022 Winter Olympics

NHL looks to grow in China ahead of 2022 Winter Olympics
September 19, 2018

North America’s National Hockey League (NHL) is looking to expand support in China ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Despite preventing its elite players from participating in this year’s Winter Olympics in PyeongChang and not yet committing to the 2022 Games, the NHL is confident that it can expand its presence in China’s fast-growing sport market.

Following in the footsteps of sports such as the NBA, the NHL has a twofold strategy to take the game to China’s 1.4 billion people.

Last year, the Vancouver Canucks and the Los Angeles Kings went head-to-head in the NHL's first game on Chinese soil while this month the iconic Stanley Cup trophy has been touring the nation, even visiting the Great Wall of China.

With the Chinese Government currently investing US$3 billion in infrastructure for the 2022 Games as well as winter sports, the NHL is planning to make regular public appearances as well as backing school programs and coaching clinics.

In addition, the Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames are set to play two preseason games, first in Shenzhen and then Beijing.

Explaining the desire to tap into China’s growing interest in sport, NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman, told CNN Sport this week, “we believe that by engaging at the grassroots level and having a regular presence at the NHL level, we can encourage the development and growth of the game.”

However, with China currently having no real ice hockey infrastructure and the NHL’s lack of commitment to the Winter Olympics, the move faces significant challenges.

Speaking about NHL participation in the 2022 Beijing Olympics, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly recently advised that it is only a “possibility”, stating “we have a couple of years to make that decision.

“What I will say is I don't think it's a critical element to our being able to grow the sport in China.

“There are some synergies associated with that, I'm sure that'll be taken into consideration by our owners at the appropriate time, but I don't think it's an essential."

As for the game’s overall commitment in the nation, David Proper, NHL Executive Vice President of Media and International Strategy recently commented "China is one of the hottest markets in the world. Everyone's trying to get in in one form or another.

“(But China is) not interested in us jumping in, playing a game and leaving. They want to see that we're committed to that market, that we want to help grow hockey, that we want to help grow the economy, that all the things we're doing are not so that the NHL can jump in, put some money in its pocket, and leave. That's important."

Images: The Vancouver Canucks faced the Los Angeles Kings in Beijing last year (top) and NHL and local officials promote the game (below).

Related Articles

9th August 2018 - NBA China announces inaugural NBA Championship touring exhibition

13th March 2018 - Hawthorn President Jeff Kennett slams AFL’s international expansion plans

26th February 2018 - Closing ceremony brings PyeongChang Winter Olympics to an end

8th September 2017 - Beijing readies for 2022 Winter Olympics

16th February 2017 - NBA taps into the fast growing eSports market

23rd September 2016 - IOC President proclaims ‘time of Asia’ as Sports Ministers sign declaration in Pyeongchang

11th May 2016 - Chinese sports industry to be worth more than US$460 billion by end of 2020

31st March 2016 - Gangneung aims to become South Korean winter sports hub after Pyeongchang 2018 Games

9th August 2015 - Beijing Winter Olympics to mix venue re-use and extravagant spending

7th July 2014 - International Ice Hockey 2014 series draws NHL players to Australia

14th September 2010 - PyeongChang’s Alpensia Resort ranked key sport and tourist destination


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Goplay Commercial Playground Equipment

Goplay designs and manufactures specialised playground equipment for indoor play centres, hotels, food chains, clubs and resorts. If our years of experience and dedication have taught us one thing,…

read more

Play

 
 

SeatGeek Asia Pacific

SeatGeek is a search engine and mobile-focused ticket marketplace that allows fans to buy and sell tickets for live events. As of August 2018, SeatGeek has exited the Australian, New…

read more

Entertainment / Sport / Technology / Ticketing / Venues

 
 

VIVATICKET

As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as VIVATICKET Pty Ltd.  19th July 2018 - ENTA AUSTRALASIA REBRANDS AS VIVATICKET 17th October 2016…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Sport / Ticketing / Venues

 
 

Altitude Training Systems

Also at 3 Squill Place, Arndell Park NSW 2148 ATS are global leaders in altitude training and research. From mask systems and inflatable tents to simulated altitude facilities, we help…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology

 
 

Polin Waterparks

Polin was founded in Istanbul in 1976, and has since grown into a leading company in the waterparks industry. Today Polin is one of the world leaders in the design, production, and installation of…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Waterparks

 
 

SGL GROUP

SGL is an innovative and progressive lifestyle, leisure and community consulting practice, operated by Phillip Gray and active since 1988. SGL has undertaken an extensive range of sport,…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Fitness / Recreation / Sport

 
 

WATERPLAY Solutions Corp

Whether your goal is increasing your centre's revenues or creating an engaging environment, why not add play to your project? If you're looking for stylish aquatic play features, kid-tested…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Recreation / Waterparks

 
 

AUSTRALIAN WATERSLIDES AND LEISURE

A leading designer and manufacturer of innovative waterslides and attractions, Australian Waterslides and Leisure (AWL) is also able to advise clients in the areas of concept and design, feasibility…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Waterparks

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business