BRATISLAVA, May 24. /TASS/. Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg has been confirmed as the venue for hosting matches of the 2023 IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) World Championship, the IIHF reported on Friday.
Last September, the Russian city of St. Petersburg was chosen by the IIHF management to host the world championship in 2023 with the scheduled dates of May 5-21. The IIHF Congress in Bratislava on Friday approved this decision.
"We have hosted the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship seven times. We always provide a high level of service and safety to teams and fans," Vladislav Tretiak, the president of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation (RIHF), was quoted by the IIHF as saying.
The IIHF Congress in Bratislava also confirmed that the 2024 World Championship will be hosted by the Czech Republic in the cities of Prague and Ostrava, and Sweden will be the venue for the 2025 World Championship (host cities are still to be announced)
The Russian bid offered two arenas in St. Petersburg to host matches of the ice hockey world championship in 2023. One of them is currently under construction and once completed it may become the biggest ice arena in Europe with a capacity to seat between 21,500 and 23,000 spectators.
The other arena in St. Petersburg will be the Ice Palace, which is currently a home stadium for KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg club and boasts an over 12,300-seat capacity.
"St. Petersburg is an important hockey city with a rich hockey tradition," Tretiak continued. "It started with bandy in the 19th century and ice hockey became one of the most popular sports in the Soviet times."
"There’s no doubt that the arenas will be sold out at the World Championship in 2023. The whole world is waiting for the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in St. Petersburg."
"It’s a beautiful city with hospitable people and hockey fans," the RIHF president stated. "All this will make the 2023 World Championship one of the most memorable ones..."
The cities of Bratislava and Kosice in Slovakia are currently hosting the 2019 IIHF World Championship. The next editions of the IIHF World Championship will be held in Switzerland in 2020, in Belarus and Latvia in 2021, and in Finland in 2022.
Moscow and St. Petersburg hosted jointly the IIHF World Championship in 2016, when Canada retained the title of the reigning world champions. This was the 7th IIHF World Championship held in Russia as it was previously hosted by Moscow five times, namely in 1957, 1973, 1979, 1986 and 2007, and once by St. Petersburg in 2000.