Upwards of 1,000 ringette players are getting ready to descend on North Bay next month.

Four divisions, including 60 to 70 teams, will be playing their provincial championships here March 14th to the 17th.

West Ferris Ringette Association President Kelli Van Buskirk says with a new rink on the horizon, this will be a nice send-off for West Ferris Arena.

“We’re very much emotionally attached to this arena, it says the Birthplace of Ringette right on it, for us this will be a nice way to say goodbye,” she says.

On top of West Ferris and Pete Palangio Arenas, games will be played at a number of outlying community arenas too.

Van Buskirk says they’re excited to be hosting teams from out of town, which doesn’t happen that often.

“They think it’s too far, they don’t realize it’s just a quick trip up the highway and we go south all the time. Hopefully that will kind of change their view of the north and North Bay and we’ll have some more of them coming up here a little bit more,” she says.

Lauryn Hamilton is on the West Ferris U19A team and is excited to play on home ice for provincials.

She’s the third generation in her family to be involved in the sport, starting with her grandparents.

“They were both on the executive, they coached and were pretty involved. My aunt, she played ringette too, she has a lot of medals, she went to Sweden at one point, Finland,” Hamilton says. “My Dad has also been pretty involved, he has been a ref since he was 12 and he’s still reffing now and got me into reffing.”

Sports Tourism North Bay estimates the economic impact of the tournament to be about $1.5 million dollars.