International Ice Hockey Federation

World Juniors in Helsinki

World Juniors in Helsinki

Two venues in Finnish capital to host in 2016

Published 04.12.2014 19:33 GMT+2 | Author Martin Merk
World Juniors in Helsinki
International ice hockey comes back to Hartwall Arena, which most recently hosted the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships in 2012 and 2013. Photo: Jeff Vinnick / HHOF-IIHF Images
The Finnish Ice Hockey Association nominated Helsinki to host the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship in Finland.

“During the tender process there has been a lot of interest in hosting the event,” said Matti Nurminen, General Director of the Finnish Ice Hockey Association.

The winning bid includes the two most famous indoor arenas of the Finnish capital for the event that will take place from 26 December 2015 to 5 January 2016.

The 13,665-seat Hartwall Arena, which co-hosted games of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in 2012 and 2013 and is the home arena of Jokerit Helsinki, will be the main venue. It also hosted the World Championship in 1997 and 2003 and the World Junior Championship in 1998. It’s also the home venue of the KHL’s Jokerit Helsinki.

Helsingin Jaahalli, home of IFK Helsinki and with a capacity for 8,200 fans, will be the secondary venue for the 2016 World Juniors. This traditional ice rink hosted the World Juniors four times before, in 1980, 1985, 1990 and 2004, and the World Championship in 1974, 1982 and 1991.

“I’m really happy with the solution. The arenas in Helsinki are only a few kilometres apart and offer big enough facilities for the event,” Nurminen said.

“The World Juniors visitors will benefit from the proximity of the arenas. There are good connections in Helsinki and as the organizing committee plans to schedule the games to start at different times. There will be a possibility to attend games at both arenas on same day,” says Timo Bäckman, the Organizing Committee’s General Secretary.

Naturally short distances are a great help for the organizers as well.

”We can combine certain functions and for the official participants moving around is easier and less time-consuming as well. For the organizing committee this means less transportation and happier customers, as they won’t need to spend hours in cars and busses.”

With the selection of the Helsinki bid the Finns hope to have found the right venues for an event of that scale with enough space for the ten-team event, high media demands and 5,000 tourists the Finnish Ice Hockey Association expects to travel to Helsinki for the event according to Nurminen.

Finland was the long-time record holder for the most-attended World Junior Championship held in Europe with 139,680 spectators in Helsinki and Hameenlinna in 1998 until Malmo, Sweden, broke that record less than four months ago with 144,268 spectators.

Ticket sales for the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship will start in spring 2015. The groups and schedule will be known after the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship in Toronto and Montreal.


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