The 2011 IIHF World Championship in Bratislava and Košice will begin in almost 450 days. The capital of Slovakia and one of the major cities of Eastern Slovakia will host the planet’s 16 best teams between April 29 and May 15, 2011. The Organizing Committee held its first press conference on February 2, 2010.
“In May 2006 we were granted the right to host the 2011 World Championship, and then we thought, that it was still five years ahead of us. Now we have exactly 450 days, that’s just slightly over a year. The Organizing Committee was created in the summer of 2009, and so far we have all the main positions covered by experienced staff,” said Mr. Igor Nemecek, the Chairman of the Organizing Committee. His two closest colleagues will be the regional chiefs – Mr. Lubomir Lenar in Bratislava and Petr Handl in Košice. “Mr. Lenar has had very good experience in organising international events, and Mr. Handl was part of the organisation committee during the 2004 World Championship in the Czech Republic, where he worked as the regional chief in Ostrava, and so he has experience at organizing very successful events,“ said Mr. Nemecek.
Both cities are undergoing construction work. Bratislava will have a newly reconstructed Ondrej Nepela Arena, while the city of Košice will get a new training venue next to the Steel Arena. “The construction works in Bratislava are well in place with the schedule, financing is also going according to plan," said Mr. Lenar, head of the Bratislava part of the organization. Mr. Petr Handl visited Košice numerous times since September 2009, and he is confident that the event will be organized at the highest level possible. “The Košice arena meets high international standards and I must admit that I was very much impressed during my first visit. The enthusiasm of the people working there is great, which is very positive," said Mr. Handl.
The World Championship in Slovakia will have a great advantage compared to previous events in Canada and Switzerland – the training venues will be part of the main arenas and so the teams will not have to travel through the whole city for the training sessions. “We want to organize a high quality event, and so the training venues will be right next to the main venues. The teams will save travel time,“ said Mr. Igor Nemeček.
The IIHF Committee led by Chairman René Fasel will inspect Slovakia’s main sites and venues in Bratislava and Košice during spring 2010. Slovakia will also organize the IIHF Congress in Portorož, Slovenia, this year (it is a IIHF rule , that the host country of the next championship organises the congress at a third party country). “This way we want to show the world that Slovakia is organizing the congress in Slovenia,” said Chairman of the Organizing Committee Igor Nemecek.
The committee also relies on the helping hand of over 700 volunteers during 2011 World Championship. “Canada had over 2,000 volunteers, Germany at this year’s championship counts on over 1000 volunteers. We will need approximately 700 volunteers. Those who would like to participate can place their application through the website of the Slovak Ice Hockey Federation. So far we have about 250 volunteers ready to take place. They too shall provide a good image of Slovakia to the visitors and spectators at the championship,” said. Mr. Nemecek.
The participants in groups will be known when the 2010 World Championship in Germany is over. Ticket will go on sale in autumn 2010.
view the video from press conference