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COLOGNE, May 5. /TASS/. The organizers of the 2017 IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) World Championship told TASS on Friday that they expected full-house attendance at the tournament’s opening game in Germany’s Cologne this afternoon between the national teams of Russia and Sweden.
A spokesman for the organizing committee said in an interview with TASS that only 50 tickets remained on sale for this match, but these are high-priced tickets for VIP lounges at the Lanxess Arena, which is the largest venue for ice hockey games outside North America.
The organizing committee also said that the TV audience for the upcoming global tournament was expected to total some 1.2 billion viewers in 165 countries.
The 2017 IIHF tournament will be held in Germany’s Cologne at its 18,500-seat Lanxess Arena and in the French capital at the Bercy 14,500-seat venue from May 5 through May 21, 2017.
Cologne will host 34 games, including Group A, two quarter-finals and all semi-final and medal games. Paris will host 30 games, including all games of Group B and two quarter-final games.
Group A in Cologne includes last year’s IIHF championship host and bronze medalist Russia, which was ranked second in the 2016 IIHF Men’s World Ranking, as well as Team USA, Sweden, Slovakia, Germany, Latvia, Denmark and Italy.
Russia will begin vying for the champion’s title this year with its first match against its long-time rival Sweden today at 5:15 p.m. Moscow time (14:15 GMT) at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne.
Defending champion Canada will start its campaign in Group B in Paris, where they had been squared off against last year’s silver-medal winners Finland, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Belarus, Norway, France and Slovenia.