UFA – The 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship will take place in Malmö. It will be the first IIHF tournament hosted in the third-largest Swedish city located in the southwest of the country.
“We know that the interest in international junior hockey has been growing immensely, also in Sweden,” said Christer Englund, the President of the Swedish Ice Hockey Association and a member of the IIHF Council. “Hopefully we will have the same success in organizing the tournament as here in Ufa.”
Before the tournament goes back to cities to be determined in Canada in 2015 and 2017, the biggest city of the Scania (Skåne) province will welcome the world’s best juniors.
“It’s the first time ever that we’ll have the IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmö and we will try to do our best to make it a successful event,” said Mikael Haglund, the General Secretary of the Organizing Committee before showing the presentation video
to media representatives in Ufa.
Malmö is located not far from the Danish capital of Copenhagen just over the Öresund strait. The city can be reached via two airports. The Copenhagen Airport Kastrup offers connections to 120 destinations, including cities in all ten participating nations. From there over the Öresund Bridge it takes only 12 minutes by train to get to Malmö. The main venue is located at the first train station on the Swedish side of the bridge.
The city’s own airport, Malmö Airport, offers connections to other Swedish cities as well as some European destinations, mostly by low-cost carriers.
There are 302,000 inhabitants in Malmö and 3.8 million in the whole Danish-Swedish Öresund Region. Malmö offers 4,000 hotel rooms in 33 hotels and there are 28,000 hotel rooms available in the whole region. In addition to great sightseeing in Malmö and Copenhagen, the region is ideal for outdoor activities such as climbing and fishing.
The Malmö Arena opened in 2008 and is the most modern, state-of-the-art indoor venue in Sweden, offering 13,000 seats and several restaurants and bars.
“If you ask me, it’s the best arena in Sweden,” Haglund said.
The arena is located on the west, coastal side of Malmö, a stone’s throw from the Hyllie railway station. The venue is home to the Malmö Redhawks, a two-time Swedish champion (1992, 1994) that currently plays in the second-tier league HockeyAllsvenskan.
On top of hockey games – including an exhibition game with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets in 2010 – the arena has hosted other world-class events such as the 2011 World Men’s Handball Championship and concerts by Bob Dylan, Lady Gaga, Tom Jones and Britney Spears. It will also host the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest.
Malmö Isstadion (“Malmö Ice Stadium”) will be the secondary venue for next year’s World Juniors. Originally built in 1970, it’s the city’s traditional venue for ice sports. The arena will be renovated for the World Juniors and have a capacity for 5,100 fans.
The secondary venue is closer to downtown Malmö, about 3 kilometres away from Malmö Arena and 2-3 kilometres from the historical centre of Malmö.
Located nearby is another indoor sports venue, the Baltiska Hallen, which will be used for a fan zone and for offices during the World Juniors.
Now hockey fans in the Malmö area and Sweden are asked to fill the arenas. Englund is positive that Sweden can repeat the success of the organizers in Ufa, in part thanks to the success of the Swedish U20 national team in the last few years.
“We know it’s difficult to fill the arena when the home team is not playing, but we’re trying to make different arrangements with schools, and we also offer fan-friendly ticket prices,” Englund said.
Prices for day tickets will be between 100 and 595 kronor (€12-70, $15-$90). The cheapest ticket for the gold medal game will be 300 kronor (€35, $45).
Tickets will be released by February once the schedule is known.Groups of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship:
Group A: USA (1), Canada (4), Czech Republic (5), Slovakia (8), Germany (9).
Group B: Sweden (2), Russia (3), Switzerland (6), Finland (7), Norway (10).Notes:
- As of 2014 the event will be called the IIHF World Junior Championship – as it has been generally known in Canada – and not the U20 World Championship anymore.
- It will be the sixth time the World Juniors take place in Sweden. Previous ones included 1979 (Karlstad, Karlskoga), 1984 (Norrköping, Nyköping), 1993 (Gävle, Falun, Bollnäs, Uppsala, Hofors, Hudiksvall, Skutskär), 2000 (Umeå, Skellefteå) and 2007 (Leksand, Mora).
- Host Sweden has been one of the most successful U20 nations in recent years. Sweden has medalled five times in the last six years, including gold last year in Calgary.
- As part of the marketing partnership between the IIHF and Hockey Canada to increase the promotion of the World Juniors and the Women’s World Championships and create higher profit for grassroots programs in the IIHF’s 72 member nations, the event will be staged in Canada every two years, in 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2021. The other editions are slated to be held in Finland (2016), the United States (2018) and the Czech Republic (2020).
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