The new host for the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship will be approved by the 2023 IIHF Annual Congress on Friday following the decision of the IIHF Council on 26 April to withdraw the hosting rights from Russia. The tournament was originally planned in St. Petersburg.
The Finnish-Latvian bid foresees the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship to be staged from 12 to 28 May 2023 in the biggest venues in two of the world’s most passionate hockey countries.
The newly opened Nokia Arena in Tampere is foreseen as the main venue as per the ongoing 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship and will host one preliminary-round group, two quarter-finals, all semi-final and medal games. Up to 11,695 fans have filled the arena during the current tournament. Prior to the last preliminary round 167,212 have attended the games in Tampere.
For co-host Latvia it will be the chance to host the World Championship with fans since last year’s event had to be played in mostly empty arenas due to Covid-19 restrictions. Arena Riga with a capacity of up to 9,550 spectators will serve as the Latvian venue same as in 2006 and 2021 and will host one preliminary-round group and two quarter-final games. Fan zones are planned next to both arenas.
The Hungarian Ice Hockey Federation informed the IIHF that it did not receive the governmental guarantees to host the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship and therefore withdrew the bid, which foresaw the newly opened 19,182-seat MVM Dome in Budapest and the 10,500-capacity Arena Stozice in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana as potential hosts.
The 2022 IIHF Annual Congress will allocate several IIHF championships of the upcoming season on Friday and approve the host country for the 2026 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship where Switzerland remains as the only applicant following the withdrawal of Kazakhstan with its bid for Nur-Sultan and Almaty. Switzerland was named host for the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship but the event in Zurich and Lausanne had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The following World Championships have been previously allocated:
- 2024: Prague & Ostrava, Czechia, 10-26 May 2024
- 2025: Stockholm, Sweden & Herning, Denmark, 9-25 May 2025