Stockholm and Malmo, which previously hosted IIHF events in this decade, were the other applicants in the final round but the board believes in the successful bid from Gothenburg and will start final negotiations for the contract.
“It feels incredibly exciting to move on with Gothenburg after their strong application. In the overall assessment we concluded that Gothenburg’s bid was the strongest. At the same time, I would like to thank Stockholm and Malmö for their solid work during the selection process. As chairman of the Swedish Ice Hockey Association, I can only be proud of the fact that Sweden’s three largest cities applied with strong bids to arrange one of the most exciting international ice hockey events,” said Anders Larsson, Chairman of the Swedish Ice Hockey Association.
The bid was submitted by Goteborg & Co, Got Event, the Gothenburg Ice Hockey Association and Frolunda Gothenburg, the Swedish top club that recently won the Champions Hockey League for the third time in four years. The two biggest arenas in the city that are both used by the club are foreseen as venues in the bid: Scandinavium in the city centre with a capacity for 12,044 spectators and Frolundaborg with a capacity for 7,520 spectators five kilometres away in the Vastra Frolunda district that gave the club its name.
“We are incredibly proud that the Swedish Ice Hockey Association has now chosen to move on with Gothenburg. We are really looking forward to continuing the cooperation with the association, ice hockey in Gothenburg and the other regions to work together to develop the conditions for the best World Junior Championship we have ever had in Sweden. The World Junior Championship will conclude Gothenburg’s 400th anniversary at the turn of the year 2021/2022. The goal is that it will be a true winter festival,” says Magnus Hallberg, event manager at Goteborg & Co, a company owned by the city to market Gothenburg for tourism, events and meetings.
With a population of 570,000 in the city and abount a million in the region, Gothenburg in the southwest of Sweden is the country’s second-largest city. It was founded in 1621 by the Kingdom of Sweden at a strategically important location during the Thirty Years' War and its North Sea port has become the country’s largest port.
Gothenburg hosted the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships in the men’s senior category in 1981 and 2002, both times at Scandinavium, which was built in 1971 and renovated most recently in 2006. It will be the first time the World Juniors will be hosted in the city.
The last time Sweden hosted the IIHF World Junior Championship further south in Malmo in 2014 and set a European attendance record for the World Juniors with 144,268 fans that was broken two years later by Helsinki, Finland, with 215,226 spectators.
“It feels very good that our long-term cooperation with the Swedish Ice Hockey Associations has yielded results and we look forward to full stands and a hockey fest in Scandinavium and Frolundaborg,” said Lotta Nibell, CEO at Got Event, a company owned by the city that manages events in Gothenburg’s sport venues.
The next IIHF World Junior Championships:2020: Ostrava & Trinec, Czech Republic
2021: Edmonton & Red Deer, Canada
2022: Gothenburg, Sweden
2023: Novosibirsk, Russia