In March and April, the Finnish Ice Hockey Association (FIHA) and the hockey world championship organization will arrange a tour to promote the sport and the tournament in Finland. During this time, the Hockey Tour will pass through 17 cities.
“Our mission is to make this tournament an event that every Finn, regardless of age, sex, level of hockey expertise or place of birth, can enjoy,” says Mika Sulin, the general secretary of the tournament.
The tour includes ten Finnish SM-liiga cities, and six of the cities have a team in the second division Mestis. Kokkola and Kotka will also be a part of the tour which kicks off from Joensuu on March 28.
The last stop of the tour is Hämeenlinna, on April 28, with a ceremonial grand finale at a charity concert in Helsinki on May 3, the eve of the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.
The tour has been planned in cooperation with the cities’ highest executives.
“Every mayor has been enthusiastic about the tour, and they have jumped onboard with pleasure. The planning of the tour has been smooth,” says Sulin.
The event will take place in a central area - such as a market square - in each of the participating cities. Each city will also become the World Championships’ official supporter city.
“We hope that the tour will encourage even more children and young people to start playing hockey,” says Matti Nurminen, the CEO of FIHA.
“I hope this also helps us improve the conditions even further. I also expect to get thousands of new members to our national team fan club,” he adds.
The media partner of the tour is MTV3.
Mar 28 Joensuu
Mar 29 Kuopio
Mar 30 Kajaani
Mar 31 Rovaniemi
Apr 11 Oulu
Apr 12 Kokkola
Apr 13 Vaasa
Apr 14 Pori
Apr 19 Turku
Apr 20 Rauma
Apr 21 Tampere
Apr 22 Jyväskylä
Apr 24 Kotka
Apr 25 Lappeenranta
Apr 26 Mikkeli
Apr 27 Lahti
Apr 28 Hämeenlinna
May 3 Helsinki