St. Petersburg gets 2023 Worlds
by Martin Merk|24 MAY 2019
St. Petersburg will built the biggest ice hockey arena in the world to host the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.
photo: Sergei Fedoseyev /
The 2019 IIHF Annual Congress has assigned the hosting rights for the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships between 2023 and 2025 to Russia, the Czech Republic and Sweden.

Originally the three countries had bid for 2023 but the Congress accepted a proposal to assign three World Championships in a row with the first one going to Russia’s second-biggest city of St. Petersburg.

“We have hosted the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship seven times. We always provide a high level of service and safety to teams and fans,” assured Vladislav Tretiak, President of the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia in his presentation.

As in previous bids Russia applies with a new arena. One that shall become the biggest ice hockey venue in the world.

The new arena will be a new landmark for St. Petersburg. It will be built by 2023 and offer a capacity for 21,500 to 23,000 fans according to the bid and be located in walking distance from the Park Pobedy metro station (fittingly it means “Victory’s Park” in English). It will include 13 spacious dressing rooms with modern facilities for athletes and staff.
New arena in St. Petersburg
The second arena will be the Ice Place, the current home of SKA St. Petersburg, that was built for the 2000 Worlds, offers a capacity for 12,300 spectators and is one of the best visited hockey arenas in Europe.

St. Petersburg served as Russia’s capital between 1712 and 1918 and is home to 5.5 million people, famous for its museums including the Hermitage Museum, and with more than 300 bridges built over rivers and channels often compared to Venice and Amsterdam, after which Tsar Peter the Great modelled the city.

“St. Petersburg is an important hockey city with a rich hockey tradition. It started with bandy in the 19th century and ice hockey became on of the most popular sports in the Soviet times. In 2016 the arena was sold out every time. More than 72’000 fans attended a Russia-Finland game at the Gazprom football arena breaking all Russian attendance record,” Tretiak added. 

“There’s no doubt that the arenas will be sold out at the World Championship in 2023. The whole world is waiting for the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in St. Petersburg. It’s a beautiful city with hospitable people and hockey fans. All this will make the 2023 World Championship one of the most memorable ones in history.”

See the Russian bid presentation in the video below:
In September a proposal from the IIHF membership offered to assign the 2023, 2024 and 2025 Worlds to the three bidders at the 2019 IIHF Annual Congress. With no other applications coming in, the delegates followed the proposal to plan further ahead with the IIHF’s flagship event.

The Czech Republic will host the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in 2024. Same like in 2004 and 2015 the venues will be the O2 Arena in Prague and the Ostravar Arena in Ostrava where the Czechs successfully hosted two editions. The 2015 Worlds set a new attendance record four years ago with 741,690 fans (11,589 in average) coming to the games in the two Czech cities.

For Ostrava, which will be the main venue of next winter’s 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship, it will be the third IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in the city while Prague has previously also hosted in 1933, 1938, 1947, 1959, 1972, 1978, 1985 and 1992 during the Czechoslovak era.

One year later, the 2025 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship will be hosted by Sweden. The cities are to be determined and the organizer announced its intention to make it a co-hosted event with Denmark, which will have to be confirmed by Congress. Sweden was a single-country host in 1949, 1954, 1963, 1969, 1970, 1981, 1989, 1995 and 2002, and co-hosted the 2012 and 2013 editions with Finland. Denmark successfully hosted its first World Championship last year in Copenhagen and Herning.

The following IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships have been allocated:
2020: Zurich & Lausanne, Switzerland
2021: Minsk, Belarus & Riga, Latvia
2022: Tampere & Helsinki, Finland
2023: St. Petersburg, Russia
2024: Prague & Ostrava, Czech Republic
2025: Sweden