HELSINKI – The Finnish Ice Hockey Association nominated Helsinki to host the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship in Finland. The decision was taken during a board meeting on Thursday.
“During the tender process there has been a lot of interest in hosting the event,” said Matti Nurminen, General Director of the Finnish Ice Hockey Association.
The winning bid includes the two most famous indoor arenas of the Finnish capital for the event that will take place from 26 December 2015 to 5 January 2016.
The 13,665-seat Hartwall Arena, which co-hosted games of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in 2012 and 2013 and is the home arena of Jokerit Helsinki, will be the main venue.
Helsingin Jäähalli, home of Helsinki IFK and with a capacity for 8,200 fans, will be the secondary venue for the 2016 World Juniors.
“I’m really happy with the solution. The Arenas in Helsinki are only a few kilometres apart and offer big enough facilities for the event,” Nurminen said.
With the selection of the Helsinki bid the Finns hope to have found the right venues for an event of that scale with enough space for the ten-team event, high media demands and 5,000 tourists the Finnish Ice Hockey Association expects to travel to Helsinki for the event according to Nurminen.
Finland was the long-time record holder for the most-attended World Junior Championship held in Europe with 139,680 spectators in Helsinki and Hameenlinna in 1998 until Malmo, Sweden, broke that record less than four months ago with 144,268 spectators.
The first stage of ticket sales is expected to open at the end of this year. The groups and schedule will be known after the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship in Toronto and Montreal.