Representatives of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Igor Nemecek and Peter Forsberg paid a visit to the Belarusian capital on 15 February to see the facilities that can be used for the tournament in case Belarus and Latvia win the bid to co-host the 2021 World Hockey Championship.
The IIHF officials have already been to Minsk and inspected Minsk Arena, the country’s main indoor arena. They examined all its facilities once again and admitted that the venue is ready to host international competitions.
“I last visited Minsk in September 2016 to attend the 2018 Winter Olympics qualifying games. Before the 2014 IIHF World Championship we could talk about possible problems in some areas. Today I can say that everything is fine. Of course, in 2021 the arena will not be as new as it was in 2014. Anyway, the sports facility will not demand any serious modifications”, Igor Nemecek said.
According to him, the main advantage of Minsk Arena is the sufficient number of locker rooms for all the players.
The IIHF representatives also studied the hotel infrastructure of the city, including several new hotels that could host participants and guests of the 2021 World Hockey Championship.
The IIHF inspection team will go to Riga on 16 February. They also plan to visit Finland, which is the other bidder for the 2021 IIHF World Championship.
Belarus and Latvia submitted a joint bid to host the 2021 IIHF World Championship, the media reported on 19 January. If the two win it, one of the major facilities to host the event will be Minsk Arena, that was the main venue of the 2014 IIHF World Championship.
The host country will be chosen at the IIHF Congress in Cologne on 19 May, 2017.