ZURICH/MUNICH – Four days after the gold medal game of the 2009 IIHF World Championship and 358 days before the first face-off of the 2010 IIHF World Championship, the opponent of the world record opening game is known. The German national team will meet Team USA on May 7, 2010, at Gelsenkirchen’s football stadium Veltins-Arena in front of a planned 75,976 people.
The opening game in the stadium with a retractable roof could break the current world record of 74,554 spectators, which was set between Michigan State and Michigan, two American university teams, in East Lansing in 2001.
The 2010 World Championship takes place in Cologne, Mannheim and Gelsenkirchen from May 7 to 23, 2010.
Team USA finished the 2009 World Championship in fourth place, losing the semi-final in a 3-2 loss against eventual world champion, Russia. The U.S. is now in fifth place in the IIHF World Ranking.
The U.S. has a long success list: twice a gold-medal winner, seven times silver and a bronze medal at Olympic Games, two IIHF World Championship titles plus nine second and five third places as well as a victory at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.
The U.S. record against the Germans is 56 victories, 25 losses and nine tied games. In the last World Championship meeting, USA beat Germany 6-4 in the 2008 World Championship.Groups and Venues confirmed
The four groups of the 2010 IIHF World Championship are now confirmed:
Group A: Russia, Belarus, Slovakia, Kazakhstan.
Group B: Canada, Switzerland, Latvia, Italy.
Group C: Sweden, Czech Republic, Norway, France.
Group D: Finland, USA, Germany, Denmark.
The venue for Groups A and D is the Lanxess Arena of Cologne excluding the opening game Germany vs. USA. Groups B and C will be played in the SAP Arena in Mannheim. The final game schedule is still to be confirmed.
Since the start of ticket sales, over 70,000 tickets have already been sold, even though team allocations were still unknown. The available first contingent of 60,000 tickets for the opening game Germany vs. USA was sold immediately. The second sales stage will start on May 22, 2009. By then, further tickets for the opening game as well as packages for the Preliminary, Qualification, and the Final Round will be available with now allocated teams, groups and venues.
For more information, visit www.iihfworlds2010.com