Regional Transportation and Tourism Entities Announce Border Traffic
Management Collaboration for Upcomping IIHF World Junior Championship
Tournament in Buffalo, NY
Planning efforts underway to ensure safe and efficient movement of vehicles and fans
at all four area international bridge corssings during 11-day tournament
Enrollment in NEXUS trusted traveler program recommended as best way for motorists
to get to games and receive expedited clearance at border

BUFFALO, NY/NIAGARA FALLS, ON – Today regional transportation, tourism and security organizations announced the launch of a collaborative planning initiative to help coordinate border traffic management during the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championship tournament being held in Buffalo, NY, from Dec. 26, 2017 through Jan. 5, 2018. Participants in this effort include the Peace Bridge Authority, Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, Pegula Sports and Entertainment, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Canada Border Services Agency, Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition, Ontario Motor Coach Association, Visit Buffalo Niagara and various U.S. and Canadian elected officials.

“Similar to our efforts back in 2011 when Buffalo Niagara first hosted the World Junior Championship, many participating organizations have once again stepped up to help ensure that border traffic doesn’t deter any fans from attending or getting to the games on time,” said Tim Clutterbuck, Chairman of the Peace Bridge Authority. “With more than 50% of the total ticket holders for certain games potentially coming from Southern Ontario, it is critical that our region’s four international bridge crossings operate at maximum efficiency throughout the tournament.”

“The Peace Bridge Authority and the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission are committed to doing our part as port operators to move traffic in a safe and efficient manner,” said Kenneth Bieger, General Manager of the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission. “We will both continue to work with local partners and U.S. and Canadian Customs to promote widespread NEXUS enrollment prior to the games, and also encourage coordination and advanced notice from tour and bus operators planning to bring large groups of fans to Buffalo.”

“In just three months, Buffalo will be hosting thousands of visitors from all around the world, and our tournament committee and partner organizations are doing a great job of making their travel experience as seamless as possible,” said Michael Gilbert, senior vice president of the Buffalo Sabres and general manager of HarborCenter. “We appreciate the collaboration of the region’s transportation, tourism and security organizations to ensure that border crossings are as streamlined and safe as possible during this world class event to ensure our international visitors an optimal experience in Buffalo.”

As part of the coordination between agencies and organizations around border traffic for the World Junior Championship tournament, the group will be undertaking various efforts leading up to the games, including:
  • Sharing advanced and real-time ticket data regarding potential high-volume traffic games
  • Vetting participating team/country rosters prior to border arrival to help expedite review process
  • Implementing strategic Customs primary inspection lane staffing plans throughout the tournament
  • Providing additional plaza support staff and lane management staff to help traffic flow
  • Working with motor coach and tour operators to provide information and passenger manifestos to help expedite the Customs inspection process
  • Consistently communicating suggested best crossing times to fans and motorists through social media and other public communications and traffic apps
  • Promoting the NEXUS program and expediting interview processes for those who apply online and are vetted in late-Sept. or early-Oct.
  • Working with elected officials and other public/governmental entities to distribute information about border travel and the NEXUS program around the games
  • Implementing a specific traffic management plan for the S. versus Canada outdoor game date
  • Coordinating with local law enforcement (New York State Troopers, Ontario Provincial Police, ) to assist in efficient traffic management and potential violation processing on game days

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Port of Buffalo is ready for the expected traffic increase surrounding the World Juniors event,” said Port of Buffalo Assistant Port Director Mark MacVittie. “CBP will be staffing in accordance with the expected traffic volume. All available lanes will be open prior to games. However, traffic may exceed our capacity and we ask that you travel well ahead of game time and expect that you will see an increase is border wait time during the event, especially just before a game. Get NEXUS! We will be offering the public an expedited NEXUS application process for the next three weeks. Please go to CBP.GOV\NEXUS and choose ‘APPLY ONLINE.’ Once you have applied through the Global Online Enrollment System or GOES, you can email your First Name, Last Name and PASS ID to our NEXUS Niagara email box at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The cutoff date for applications will be October 13th.”

“The Canada Border Services Agency is pleased to collaborate with its partners for this event. The Agency is well positioned to process large volumes of travelers and will monitor its operations to devote the necessary resources to facilitate admissible travellers entering Canada. Travelers are encouraged to plan ahead and check border wait times on our website or our CanBorder app,” said Rick Comerford, Regional Director General, Southern Ontario Region, Canada Border Services Agency.

Thirty-one games will be played as part of the eleven-day tournament, and one of the preliminary rounds will include a U.S. versus Canada game, held outdoors at New Era Field on Dec. 29, 2017. The IIHF World Junior Championship is one of the most highly anticipated annual international ice hockey events, and includes the best male players under the age of twenty, from ten nations around the world. Participating teams are expected to begin arriving in Buffalo Niagara Dec. 22-25, 2017 and will depart beginning Jan. 6, 2018.

"NITTEC will proactively compile and coordinate travel and traffic information during the 11-day tournament and provide real-time, 24/7 information to all of the collaborating agencies and also the travelling public, through regular communications and the updating of our website and NITTEC mobile app,” said Athena Hutchins, executive director of NITTEC.

“The World Junior Championship is an extremely popular event for Canadians and we anticipate a large number will travel to Buffalo for the games on motor coach buses. We’re pleased to be part of the advance planning process and have a high degree of confidence that the plans we’re putting in place will ensure as smooth and secure border crossing experience as possible. We want to thank the bridge commissions, CBSA and CBP for the hard work and their co-operative approach to making this exciting event a success,” said Doug Switzer, President and CEO of the Ontario Motor Coach Association.

This is only the fifth World Junior Championship to be played in the United States – and the second time it has been played in Buffalo, NY. It also the first time that a U.S. city has hosted the World Junior Championship a second time. The previous tournament in Buffalo Niagara was held in 2011.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming thousands of hockey fans to our region this December to experience all the new attractions, hotels, restaurants and other amenities that have opened since the last World Juniors were held here,” said Patrick Kaler, President and CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara. “I really think people will be pleasantly surprised by all the positive developments and new offerings that they will see.”

For those interested in enrolling in the NEXUS Niagara program prior to the games, the cost for individuals is only $50 for five years. NEXUS identification cards are also free for children under 18. All prospective enrollees are encouraged to sign-up by Oct. 13, 2017 in order to potentially meet related membership vetting procedures and timing. No guarantees are available however for those looking to obtain NEXUS cards prior to the games.

To apply for NEXUS, simply go online and select the “click here to start the enrollment process” link/button at

To  obtain  real-time  border  traffic  information  on  tournament  days  and  during  the  games,  visit,, or

To learn more about the upcoming World Junior Championship tournament, visit

September 15, 2017