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Tampa Bay interested in hosting 2018 World Juniors

Jan 4, 2014, 12:58 PM EDT

TAMPA, Fl. - NOVEMBER 7: Fans walk past a statue of Phil Esposito as they enter the Tampa Bay Times Forum before the start of game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Tampa Bay Lightning on November 7, 2013 in Tampa, Florida. Getty Images

Will the World Junior Championship be held in a nontraditional market in the near future? Tampa Sports Commission executive director Rob Higgins hopes so.

With the United States scheduled to host the 2018 World Juniors, Higgins would like Tampa Bay to be considered as a potential venue.

“We’ve started to lay the groundwork to learn more about the bid process,” Higgins told the Tampa Tribune. “I’ve had some initial correspondence with USA Hockey, and we are still a ways off from the official bid process, but it’s definitely an event we would like to learn more about.”

The Lightning’s Tampa Bay Times Forum would be a host arena if the bid is success, but they would need a second location. The ECHL Florida Everblades’ Germain Arena in Estero, Florida might fill that void.

Tampa Bay hosted the NCAA Frozen Four in 2012 and is slated to do so again in 2016. Higgins is hoping that will help convince USA Hockey that a World Junior Championship in the Florida city could work.

The bidding process won’t formally start until 2015 and we’ll have to wait until the fall of that year to find out who the winner is.

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