Three of the biggest tournaments have already been announced earlier. The 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship will take place in Zurich and Lausanne, Switzerland; the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship will be hosted by Ostrava & Trinec in the Czech Republic; and Canada will host the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Halifax and Truro in the eastern province of Nova Scotia with the dates now being known: 31 March to 10 April.
Another top-level event got its host today. The United States will host the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship outside of Detroit at the at the 3,800-seat USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth and at the smaller Ann Arbor Ice Cube in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The group and game allocation as well as the game schedule will be established latest for the Semi-Annual Congress in September.
The decision for the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women's World Championship was deferred to the Semi-Annual Congress in late September. Slovakia entered an application.
Among the biggest venues to be chosen were the ones hosting the Division I tournament’s in the men’s senior category.
Slovenia will host the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A at the multifunctional Arena Stozice in its capital of Ljubljana from 24 to 30 April 2020. The arena was first time used for ice hockey for the very same event in 2012 when up to 10,500 fans filled the arena and saw Slovenia earn promotion to the top division. The other applicant Romania withdrew its bid because the construction of the new arena in Bucharest was stopped recently and it’s not sure whether it would be ready in time.
France, Austria, Korea, Slovenia, Hungary and Romania will play at the event and battle for promotion to the top level for the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Minsk (Belarus) and Riga (Latvia).
One tier below the Polish city of Katowice will host the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group B in the historical Spodek arena that successfully hosted the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A with up to 8,500 fans at the venue. It is best known in hockey history for hosting the top-level 1976 Worlds where Poland as a host scored one of the biggest upsets in hockey history by beating the Soviet Union 6-4.
Another former World Championship arena to be used is the Chizhovka Arena in Minsk, Belarus, that will host the U20 World Championship Division I Group A from 8 to 14 December 2019. It will be used as a test for the Belarusian organizers before co-hosting the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship with Riga.
A record of 54 teams will participate in the men’s senior category with Malaysia and the Philippines joining and 40 teams will play in the women’s senior category with the first-time participation of Lithuania. New divisions and groups are planned to be created including a Division IV in the men’s senior category after approval by the delegates with an adjustment in the IIHF Statutes & Bylaws.
Click here for the full list of the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship tournament program.