"The IIHF World Junior Championship is one of the most important events in world ice hockey - regarding its importance, it takes the third place after the Olympic Games and the men’s World Championship. We are happy it's coming back to Czech Republic after years and we believe that the Czech audience will find its way to the sport arenas to watch the most talented hockey players in the given age category who will rise to become the stars on the big hockey stage," said Tomas Kral, President of Czech Ice Hockey.
The IIHF World Junior Championship had been to Czech Republic three times in the past - in 1994 in Ostrava and Frydek-Mistek, in 2002 in Pardubice and Hradec Kralove and the last time in 2008 in Pardubice and Liberec. Next winter’s championship will take place in the Moravian-Silesian region.
The games with the best ten U20 national teams will be played at Ostravar Arena in Ostrava and Werk Arena in Trinec. "This tournament of under-20 players belongs to the most viewed world championships overseas. I believe there will be a lot of interest in the Czech Republic as well and that many hockey fans will already start to plan how they will spend the Christmas time in Ostrava and Trinec," added Martin Urban, General Secretary of Czech Ice Hockey.
Preparations for the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship have been going on for several months already in Ostrava and Trinec. The organizing committee introduced the championship logo, which shows a goaltender figure in the national team jersey. It was inspired by the winning gesture of Czech goaltender Petr Mrazek. This Ostrava-born player was declared the best goaltender during the 2012 World Juniors in Calgary and Edmonton. "The Czech goaltender school is world-famous, and several important personalities have been raised in the Czech Republic. Petr Mrazek is definitely one of them. He was born in Ostrava and the World Junior Championship in Canada was one of his career's milestones. Just a year after the championship, he played his first NHL game. Nevertheless, he still stays in contact with the region he grew up and therefore choosing him as the ambassador of the championship was quite an easy decision," explained Tomas Kral.
The upcoming IIHF World Junior Championship starting in Vancouver and Victoria (26th December 2018 - 5th January 2019) in few days will be crucial for the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ostrava and Trinec. Based on the results from Canada, the ten participating teams will be divided into two groups defined by the final standings.
"We definitely know that the Czech team will play its group at Ostravar Arena. In the ideal case, the arena in Trinec will be the home venue for Slovakia. However, it is too soon to tell, we must wait for what the events in Vancouver and Victoria bring," added Martin Urban.
Tickets for the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship will be sold in several phases, the first one is expected to start in spring 2019.