STOCKHOLM – The Swedish Ice Hockey Association announced that Stockholm will be the Swedish venue in both the 2012 and 2013 IIHF World Championships, co-hosted by Finland and Sweden.
On May 8, the IIHF, Infront and the two national associations announced that the Nordic countries will co-host the back-to-back World Championships.
Originally, Finland was awarded to host the 2012 tournament while it would be Sweden’s turn in 2013. It will be the first time, in the modern era, that an IIHF World Championship will take place in two countries. The advantage is that the secondary venue can be as well frequented and popular as the main one, thus making it financially more appealing.
For the 2012 IIHF World Championship (May 4-20), the Hartwall Areena in Helsinki will remain the main venue while it was announced that the Globen Arena in Stockholm will be the secondary venue.
Both cities will host two preliminary-round groups each, one preliminary-round group and two quarterfinal games. The last four games (semi-finals and medal games) will be at the main venue, Helsinki.
Stockholm’s Globen Arena will also be the main venue of the 2013 IIHF World Championship (May 3-19). The secondary venue, in Finland, has not yet been determined.
Christer Englund, IIHF Council Member and President of the Swedish Ice Hockey Association, hopes to draw a cumulated attendance of 450,000 fans to Stockholm in both years. He also announced that the prices will be lower than in the last World Championships.
“We will not only organize the World Championship, it will be much more than that,” says Englund. “We want to create a hockey festival with entertainment, food and lots of good hockey games both for private and corporate visitors. We will do this in the Globen area which is under development, and we hope to even play an outdoor game at Stockholmsarenan, the same as Germany does in next year's World Championship.”
Stockholmsarenan is a 30,000-seat football stadium which is projected to open in 2012 just beside the Globen Arena. Just like the stadium in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, where the 2010 World Championship will have its opening game in front of more than 70,000 fans, the new stadium in Stockholm will have a retractable roof.
Stockholm has hosted the World Championship eight times (1949, 1954, 1963, 1969, 1970, 1981, 1989, 1995) whereas the 1989 and 1995 World Championships were hosted at Globen, the 13,850-seat arena in the striking spherical building.