Representatives of the Organizing Committee for the 2011 IIHF World Championship – set to take place in Bratislava and Košice, Slovakia – paid a four day visit to the current host venue of the championship in Cologne and Mannheim.
Visits were paid to both halls and surroundings and the committee acquainted itself with how the tournament is run. “Last year I mentioned that I would have rather organized the tournament after the Swiss. We knew that the Germans were going to put the championship together at a high standard. During the visit nothing caught us short. I believe that our championship will be organized to at least the same standard,” said Igor Nemecek, IIHF 2011 WM Organizing Committee Chairman.
Along with his closest colleagues, Nemecek appeared in front of foreign journalists at the end of the inspection trip to present the Slovak championship conception.
The main ambition of the 2011 IIHF WM Organizing Committee is to provide the greatest comfort for players, sponsors, the media and fans alike. The players should receive full service in the halls and at the training grounds and not be required to be transported by bus being that they have direct access to the training grounds from the main arenas which are within walking distance.
“The sporting/equipment specs will be to a high standard. The comfort of players is something which means a lot to us” emphasised Igor Nemecek.
In both Slovak cities the conditions for journalists will also be to a high level, as will those for the fans. In Cologne there is a fan village which has somewhat more humble conditions, the 2011 organizers drew inspiration from Mannheim. The Slovaks would like to sell some
340 000 tickets for the championship and distribution should commence in September. The exact 2011 IIHF WM timetable should be conceived at by the end of June, by when it should be clear where the Slovak team is to play. The group draw is to be performed as per IIHF norms after the 2010 IIHF WM.
In Germany security is a little lax. The organizers don’t make use of the turnstile systems, checks in front of the halls are less strict than usual. However the championship has played out without incident.
“In Slovakia security will be better for certain,” admitted Igor Nemecek
There is still a lot of work to be done by the organizers before the championship commences. First and foremost the Bratislava arena and training hall in Košice need to be completed. In Cologne Organizing Committee representatives declared that the new Bratislava arena should pass international event testing on February 2011. In the upcoming weeks the organizers are set to sign contracts with the hotels which are to house individual camps as well as dealing with further details.