With some 300 days left, Lars G Karlsson is already beaming with the joy he would like to see in the thousands of faces at the 2012 IIHF orld Championships.
- Weīre facing a challange to create a wonderful and positive setting around every single game with the stands packed with happy people, the general secretary of the Swedish part of the event, says, looking out at the Globe Arena, a slapshot north of the World Cup office.
- And thatīs a vision we can fulfull if we tet everything planned and in place now, almost a year in advance.
The organizing team is till a small dedicated group, but new members join in virtually every week. In addition, Lars G Karlsson expects up to 500 volunteers to work during the World Championship and they wonīt be hard to find. Hockey-fans have sent in their application to join the staff of volunteers since February.
- It is importent that we find people who are interested in helping us with various duties during the event and we have contact with committed people from all over the Hockey Games, others hope to join in for the first time to make the World Championship in May 2012 a joyful event.
The IIHF World Championship will be staged two consecutive years in Swedish capital, sharing the events with Finlands capita Helsinki.
In 2012, the Stockholm and Helsinki will host a group and two quarterfinals each, with Helsinki staging the semifinals, bronzgame and finals. In 2013, itīs the same structure, but with Stockholm staging semifinals and finals.
- The interest for the IIHF World Chamionship at home is boosting in Sweden and we try to spread the party outside the hockey fans to those who yet havenīt experienced the passion in and around ice hockey, Lars G Karlsson says with a smile.
Lars G Karlsson has a vision that the event will be sold out in advacne, both in Sweden and Finland, attracting some 600,000 spectators, which would be a World Championship record.
For the first time, the organizers of the event can bring in their own national commercial partners, as a complement to the IIHF partners. And as another financial opportunity, the organizers will set up a Fan-zone in the area between The Ericsson Globe and Johanneshov Ice Stadium.
- We would like to create a space where everyone will feel welcome and where you can meedt and sicialize before and after the games. It will be a meeting place whether you go to the games in the Ericsson Globe or if you prefer to stay in the Fan Zone.
- We want every Swede and all the visitors from abroad to enjoy the IIHF World Hhampionship. We want to create a tournament where teams and thier fans get a good feeling and look forward to return the following year.