The Richmond Olympic Oval will soon become the new home of karate in Canada.
Hosting six competitive events over four years, starting in 2014, the events will include four national championships and two international competitions.
The oval will play host to the annual Karate Canada National Championship — in which Canadian national team selection will take place — every January beginning in 2014.
More than 450 Canadian athletes, coaches, officials and delegates will take part in each national championship, while the event is expected to attract up to 1,500 spectators over three days of competition.
In 2014 and 2017 the oval will also host more than 230 athletes, coaches, officials and delegates from Canada, Mexico and the United States as a part of the North American Cup. The one-day competition is typically held on the third weekend of March.
“This is a first for our sport; hosting our events in the same venue and city over a few years,” said Rébecca Khoury, president of Karate Canada.
“We are certain that the relationships we will build with Karate BC, the City of Richmond, the Richmond Olympic Oval and all our partners and sponsors will benefit the community and all of our members for years to come.”
The news will result in “significant economic benefits for our community,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie.
With 5,000 room nights projected to be booked at local hotels in addition to an anticipated boost to tourism, the local economic impact of the events, according to the city, being hosted at the oval could be upwards of $1 million.