VILNIUS – The Lithuanian IIHF member association (NLRL) chose Vilnius among several applicants as proposed host for the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group B, 20-26 April 2014.
The proposed venue in the Lithuanian capital is the multifunctional Siemens Arena that has already hosted international events in the past few years.
The 2009 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A was staged at the same arena. It was the first time an ice hockey tournament was played in an arena of that size in the country. The Lithuanian national team averaged 7,040 fans in its five games and the Japan-Lithuania game set an attendance record for a hockey game in the country with a sell-out crowd of 8,700 fans.
In the 2009/2010 season the Siemens Arena also hosted a KHL game, SKA St. Petersburg vs. Ak Bars Kazan, before 6,350 fans.
The 2004-built arena was also a venue of the 2011 FIBA European Basketball Championship.
Pending formal approval by the 2013 IIHF Semi-Annual Congress at the end of September, the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group B will be hosted at the same venue with Great Britain, Poland, Netherlands, Romania, Lithuania and Croatia as participating teams.
The Vilnius bid won the vote by the NLRL Council against two other applicants with multifunctional arenas, the Zalgiris Arena in Kaunas and the Svyturis Arena in Klaipeda.
Click here for an overview of 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship events.
Lithuania’s Povilas Verenis battles for the puck with Croatia’s Veljko Zibret at the Division I tournament at Siemens Arena in 2009. Five years later the event will be back in Vilnius. Photo: Andrius Petrulevicius