400 days before the start of 2010 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia the IIHF members site visit of the host cities Bratislava and Kosice took place. The capital of Slovakia – Bratislava, along with one of the major cities of Eastern Slovakia – Kosice - will host the planet’s 16 best teams between April 29 and May 15, 2011 during the biggest sports event in the history of this small country.
The inspection team - Deputy General Secretary and IIHF Event Director Hannes Ederer, IIHF Event Development Director Cornelia Ljungberg and Infront Project team member Luciana Crameri - spent two days visiting Bratislava and Kosice focused mainly on both Arena‘s reconstruction work and accommodation facilities which should provide a home from home not only for the playing teams but also for the IIHF Council, IIHF Staff and IIHF Delegates during the event.
“We had really a busy schedule in Slovakia. We focused on the most important issues and I have to accentuate that we are satisfied,“ - Hannes Ederer, Deputy General Secretary and Event Director IIHF said.
The Bratislava Ondrej Nepela Arena has been under reconstruction since April 2009 and should be finished by December 2010. Today, 400 days before the start of the event, an inspection was carried out with positive results insofar as all the work being on schedule. Everything is going welll. There are no problems with deadlines. There is no risk of not meeting deadlines,“ said Dana Zalesakova, the GIB Technical Deputy Director. The main Bratislava Arena should be finished by December 2010, the practise Arena by January 2011.
The IIHF inspection team additionally paid a visit to the National Tennis Centre – which is to host the traditional IIHF Congress during the championship as well as to three hotels in the centre of Bratislava - Holiday Inn, Austria Trend Hotel, Gate One Hotel – which have been recommended as the official residencies during the championship.
“We have to wait until the Arena is reconstructed. We have seen the potential site for the IIHF Congress and checked out the hotels for the participants. Now we just have to choose the best option. But in general, we are really satisfied,“ said Hannes Ederer.
In Kosice 2011 IIHF World Championship will be played out in the Ladislav Trojak Arena which was opened in 2006 and now holds a capacity of 8347 spectators. The new training arena which is set to be completed in February 2011 was the main focus of interest for the IIHF inspection team. All three hotels chosen by the Slovak organisers as the official hotels – the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, the Jasmin Hotel and the Zlaty Dukat Hotel - were inspected and approved.
“As soon as the Kosice Arena is built we should be able to gather a more focused view of the developments, I didn’t register any problems there though“ Ederer said.