International Ice Hockey Federation

Hard work and team spirit:

Hard work and team spirit:

Denmark will be ”a new home for hockey”

Published 10.01.2017 16:04 GMT+1 | Author Martin Merk
Hard work and team spirit:
Stars from the NHL like Nikolaj Ehlers will finally have home-ice advantage when Denmark hosts its first ever IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in May 2018. Photo: Jan Korsgaard / kanut.dk
Copenhagen, Herning become first-time host for one of the biggest sport events ever on Danish soil – or ice.

Back in 2014 the IIHF Annual Congress in Minsk allocated the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship to Copenhagen and Herning, Denmark.

The Danish bid got 95 votes and won against the bid from Riga, Latvia, which earned 12 votes from the IIHF member national associations and the IIHF Council. The dates will be 4-20 May 2018.

Denmark will be a first-time host for the IIHF’s flagship event after having hosted championships in lower divisions numerous times before and in 2013 a Final Olympic Qualification group. 13th in the IIHF World Ranking, Denmark has been the highest-ranked nation that has never had the chance to host the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship before.

“It will be the first time that we will host the tournament in Denmark. It will be the biggest sport event on Danish ground. You made history twice,” said Henrik Bach Nielsen, the President of the Danish Ice Hockey Union and an IIHF Council member.

“Let’s create a new home for hockey”

Denmark presented its bid at the IIHF Annual Congress under the slogan “We are ready” after having lost a joint bid with Latvia the year before that lost against the German-French bid for 2017.

“We have a plan to move our great sport forward and today we can say we are ready. Let’s create a new home for hockey,” Bach Nielsen said.

Denmark has played in lower divisions for decades before earning promotion in 2002. Since 2003 the Danes have been playing in the top division and have begun producing NHL-calibre talent with currently eight players in the big league. One of them addressed the congress in the bid presentation.

“Until some years ago hockey had little coverage in Denmark. We kept believing in ourselves and were willing to become better. We want to be a top hockey nation,” Vancouver Canucks defenceman Philip Larsen said in his speech.

“We are still one final step missing: the chance to show our fans what we can do on home ice. By that we can show all the other small nations what they can accomplish with hard work and team spirit.”

In 2018 they will finally be able to show the fans on home ice the coolest sport in the world.

And the preparations have already begun. Be sure to check back soon to meet the people making sure that 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship is going to be a party for all involved – players, volunteers and fans alike.

The arenas

Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark with 1.9 million inhabitants and 3.8 million in the Danish-Swedish Oresund region, will be the main venue with the hockey town of Herning, a city of 86,000, as second venue.

The event organization will be supported by Sport Event Denmark, a national sports event organization, and the two host cities Herning and Copenhagen.

With a capacity for 12,000 fans, the newly built Royal Arena in Copenhagen is scheduled to open its doors on 3rd February when the legendary band Metallica plays for a sold-out arena four times in a row.

The arena is a 10-minute journey by metro and the venue’s train station allows direct connections to the airport and to Sweden. There’s also a motorway exit close to the arena. A fan zone is planned by the local organizing committee.

Herning is a three-hour journey from Copenhagen by car or train, or a 45-minute drive from the nearby Billund Airport.

The Jyske Bank Boxen that opened in Herning in October 2010 is a multifunctional arena for 12,000 spectators, including an event area with a football stadium and exhibition halls nearby that can be used for additional functions such as a fan zone and press centre. A railway station, bus stops and highway exit are nearby.

The arena has hosted international handball and volleyball events, as well as concerts with stars like Prince, Rihanna and Lady Gaga. The KVIK Hockey Arena of the local club team Herning Blue Fox is five kilometres away and will be used as practice facility.

Be sure to visit again, as we will soon present the arenas in greater detail.

 

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