IIHF announces new host

Sport Business News

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has revealed Belarus is to host the 2014 edition of the sport's World Championship with Sweden and Finland set to take an innovative approach to the 2012 and 2013 events.

The Belarusian bid gained 75 votes at the IIHF Congress to land the event, with Hungary (24 votes), Latvia (three), and Ukraine (three) all losing out. Belarus' bid is based around the Minsk and Bobrusk areas, with two new arenas in close proximity in the capital city of Minsk. The budget of the organising committee will be Eur11. 4m, with Belarus the 18th country to have staged an IIHF World Championship. "Hosting this championship will not only boost the national economy, but also take Belarusian ice hockey to a whole new level, " said chairman of the Belarusian Ice Hockey Association (BIHA), Vladimir Naumov. "Our devoted fans are eager to see their idols with their own eyes to admire, learn, adopt the best traditions, and lay a sound foundation for future victories. Sergej Gontcharov, general secretary of BIHA, added: "This is the best day in the history of Belarusian hockey, maybe the best day in Belarus sports altogether. "Main venue Minsk Arena is currently in the final stage of its construction and is due to open in December 2009 for the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) team Dynamo Minsk. The venue is the lynchpin of a sports complex that includes a speed–skating rink, a velodrome and two practice rinks. The Mayor of Minsk has also guaranteed construction of the 8, 000–seat Arena Chizhovka will start in July, with it due to open in December 2010. Elsewhere the Swedish and Finnish hockey federations, in conjunction with the IIHF and marketing partner Infront, have announced the two countries will co–host both the 2012 and 2013 World Championships. The decision was reached given the two countries were both due to host back–to–back championships. It also gives the IIHF and both federations a secondary venue that will be as successful as the primary one. Back–to–back World Championships in Finland and Sweden has occurred twice previously, first in 1981 (Sweden) and 1982 (Finland) and again in 2002 (Sweden) and 2003 (Finland). Further to this, Hockey Canada, along with the IIHF, has revealed Canada will host four more World Junior Championships (2015, 2017, 2019, 2021) and three World Women's Hockey Championships (2013, 2016, 2020) in the years ahead. Canada is already set to host the World Juniors in 2010 (Regina, Saskatoon) and 2012 (Calgary, Edmonton). The proposal by Hockey Canada to host the seven additional IIHF World Championships was approved unanimously at the Annual Congress in Bern, Switzerland on Saturday. Host cities for the event are yet to be finalised. About The Sport Briefing This story has been reproduced with the kind permission of The Sport Briefing. The Sport Briefing is published by PA Sport and can be found at: www. thesportbriefing. comThe Sport Briefing is updated as and when news happens, from across the global business of sport. The industry's biggest stories have an accompanying email alert, and The Sport Briefing sends subscribers a daily digest to give them an easy–to–read overview of the day's main events. Contact rory. squires@thesportbriefing. com for more information.

Additional information