ST. PETERSBURG, February 4. /TASS/. Foreigners travelling to Russia for the matches of the 2016 IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) World Championship will be able to obtain visas under a simplified procedure, Sergey Korneyev, a deputy head of the Russian Tourism Agency, said on Thursday.
"Ice hockey fans will be offered special conditions," Korneyev told journalists. "The visa regime will be simplified, the visa issuance procedure will be quicker, but everything will be done in line with the international security regulations."
The matches of the 2016 IIHF World Championship are scheduled to be held in the country’s capital of Moscow and in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg between May 6 and 22.
Alexander Polinski, the Executive Director of the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Organizing Committee, said in an interview with TASS on Wednesday that 40% of an overall volume of tickets for the matches of the championship were already sold out with over three months remaining before the tournament kicks off.
Tickets for the much-anticipated annual ice hockey event went for sale via Internet in November with the initial price of 1,875 rubles ($24 at the current exchange rate).
The ticket sales program was divided into three separate sub-groups. The first - deals season tickets for all matches of a particular national team, the second - season tickets for all matches at one particular arena, and the third offers tickets for matches of the knock-out stages.
This will be the 7th IIHF World Championship held in Russia as it was hosted by Moscow five times, namely in 1957, 1973, 1979, 1986 and 2007, and once by St. Petersburg in 2000.