The Košice Steel Arena Civic Association Board officially opened the training hall handed over on Wednesday The opening was also attended by Deputy Minister of Education Jaroslav Ivančo, city officials and representatives of sponsors.
"Košice is the bastion of hockey and this deserves this hall. Many thanks to all who have contributed towards it. The opening of the training hall is directly related to the 2011 IIHF World Championship and will benefit the players from the participating teams. The hall was added to the steel arena after about five years and I believe that in the future it will attract the highest number hockey fans, "said Ivančo.
The foundation stone of the training hall was laid on the 27th of April 2009 and construction started on the12th of November. The ice surface dimensions are of overseas proportions (56x26) and after the World Championship will be used chiefly for youth category games. There are also stands for approximately 300 spectators. The hall is part of the Steel Arena southern extension and features two timers and 39 parking spaces are situated beneath the hall.
“The training hall is of great importance for Košice - especially for the hockey youth and serves as a great motivational element to see the stars who will train there on the ice” said Mayor Richard Raši.
The ice rink first appeared in the training hall on the 25th of January and required about one hundred cubic meters of water. The hall also features 10 dressing rooms, 16 video cameras and 5 video intercoms.
"In February 2006 we completed the steel arena and even then we knew that if we wanted to organise 2011 IIHF World Championship we would have to build a training hall. We completed it in December 2010, it was approved on February the 24th 2011 and today we have the opening ceremony. We can state that the Steel Arena is ready for the World Championship and we hope we can complete the car park. The test run should be carried out just before the warm-up game against the Swedish national team" said the Civic Association president Pavol Miškov.
Great satisfaction with the training hall was also expressed by Organizing Committee chairman Igor Nemeček. "The transition between the main hall and the training hall has already been praised by the teams that have been to see the Steel Arena. I believe that after the World Championship it will be highly appreciated. The changing rooms are of a high standard, in addition it’s not far for players staying at the two nearby hotels. We set a pretty high standard, and countries organising the subsequent World Championships after Slovakia will find it hard to top it.
The training hall construction costs came to 3.746 million Euros and the project was financed by the Ministry of Education, U. S. Steel Košice and the City of Košice.