(ATR) The hosts for both the 2021 and 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships are set.
Arena Riga (Latvian Ice Hockey Federation)
For 2021, a joint bid by Minsk, Belarus and Riga, Latvia edged out the Finnish bid from Tampere and Helsinki in a close vote by the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation Annual Congress on Friday.
The IIHF did not reveal the exact vote tally in its statement but did reveal the tournament would run from May 7 to 23, 2021.
“We learned a lot from organizing the 2006 World Championship in Riga and the 2014 World Championship in Minsk and with that experience can make things even better in 2021,” said Belarusian Ice Hockey Association General Secretary Yaraslau Zauharodni.
The arenas that were built when each country hosted its first-ever world championship will be used again in 2021. The Arena Riga, which holds 10,300 people, will be augmented by a practice arena to be built next door. The Minsk Arena, with 15,086 seats, has two practice rinks on site and will be the primary venue.
Tampere Arena to be built (Finnish Ice Hockey Association)
Finland didn’t dwell on missing out on the 2021 tournament for very long, immediately offering to host the 2022 edition.
The Finnish bid was unanimously approved by the Congress a short time later.
A new arena in Tampere will serve as the main venue in 2022.
“It’s a brand-new, world-class ice hockey arena with the best possible circumstances and experience,” Finnish Ice Hockey Association President Harri Nummela told the delegates at the Congress. “Finland is one of the safest and most stable countries in the world. We can offer a great atmosphere to participate for the greatest sport on earth.”
This will be the fifth time that Tampere has hosted the world championship in the country since 1965.
Helsinki’s Hartwall Arena, with a capacity of 13,341, will serve as the second venue.
Like Tampere, Helsinki is no stranger to the world championship, having hosted or co-hosted the event seven times between 1974 and 2013.
The ongoing 2017 tournament is in Cologne, Germany and Paris. The next three world championships will be held in Denmark, Slovakia and Switzerland.
Written by Gerard Farek
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