Get ready for a hockey festival like the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship has never seen before.
Fans who stay at Hockey Camp Herning can cheer on host Denmark, Finland, Latvia, Germany, Norway, Canada, the United States, and Korea at the Jyske Bank Boxen arena. Right afterwards, they can get back to their digs at the MCH Messecenter Herning, Denmark’s biggest fair and exhibition centre, to chill out. Or they can party in the tradition of great Danish rock festivals like Roskilde.
Herning, some 40 minutes by car from the Billund airport or three hours by train from Copenhagen, is the smallest World Championship host city in recent years (pop. 49,000). Hockey Camp Herning is designed to accommodate the influx of hockey-crazed visitors, which exceeds the capacity of local hotels.
Indoor options range from a 10-person dormitory where you bring your own mattress (29 EUR per person) to a standard room with two beds (69 EUR per person), all including a traditional Danish breakfast with bread, cheese, sausages, oatmeal, and more. Outdoor camping is also available. There’s something for every lifestyle and budget.
Just ask Anita Christensen, the project manager of Hockey Camp Herning, and Nicki Quist, the head of culture at MCH. They’re thrilled to see this colourful concept coming to life after six months of intensive planning.
“Having this idea of Hockey Camp Herning, trying to build this up, it’s been a very fun task for us to work on,” said Quist. “We’re doing something that hasn’t been done on this scale before. We’re happy that people like the idea so much. There’s a great festival to expect for the residents.”
It starts at the capacious check-in area, adorned with images of Copenhagen’s Nyhavn waterfront district, plus actual rowboats and a vintage travel trailer. Fans can drop off their bags, pick up mattresses and blankets, or stock up at the on-site grocery store. Or why not play table tennis, foosball, floorball, or bubble hockey?
Next, the Tipi-Baren, featuring a huge wooden tipi, offers fans a jolly environment to snack, drink, enjoy live music, and watch hockey on an enormous screen. From beer pong to football darts to a giant chess set, the good times never end in this big room, intimately lit with cozy iron lampposts. And yes, there’s a daily happy hour.
The adjacent indoor accommodations hall positions neat cubicle-style rooms and circles of tents amid huge wall photos ranging from snowy mountains to the New York skyline. Such photos provide colourful reminders of home for all eight Group B nations, whose flags are displayed. On-site laundry, free wifi, and an air mattress pumping station enhance the comforts.
“We’ve tried to give the guests some choice,” Quist said. “Do they want to save money and sleep on mattresses they brought themselves? Or do they want more of a hotel-like atmosphere?”
“There’s a big mix of ages, nationalities, and sexes,” added Christensen. “There’s something for the people who want to have a long party and for those who want to sleep.” (Quiet time at the accommodations is from midnight onward.)
Ultimately, it’s all about the spirit of hygge, a distinctively Danish word that’s defined as “creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people.” When that means enjoying IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship hockey, the Jyske Bank Boxen arena is just 200 metres away.
“The proximity to the arena here is something special,” said Quist. “You basically live just outside the hockey arena! In a few minutes you can be in the fan zone with even more activities.”
The 10,000-square-metre area Fanzone offers more live music, special guests, TV screens showing hockey, and street food like burgers, sushi, and classic Danish smorrebrod (open-faced sandwiches).
If you want to check out the city centre, a free shuttle runs downtown from Hockey Camp Herning every 15 minutes (10:00-24:00), and the newly renovated pedestrian shopping street Bredgade is alive with hockey fever too.
Do you want to be part of the fun and excitement at Hockey Camp Herning? Go to VisitHerning.com to book your place today and join the party!