International Ice Hockey Federation

Katowice welcomes world

Katowice welcomes world

Historic venue to host Division I Group A

Published 02.11.2015 17:27 GMT+1 | Author Martin Merk
Katowice welcomes world
The Spodek Arena in Katowice will be host to the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A for the first time in 16 years. Photo: IIHF Archive
The 2015 IIHF Semi-Annual Congress confirmed Katowice, Poland, as host for the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A.

The event will be held 23-29 April 2016 again in the south of Poland but after Krakow in 2015 the action next year will happen in Katowice, a city with 300,000 inhabitants but with over five million people in the Upper Silesian Metropolitan territory.

At the event Austria, Slovenia, Poland, Japan, Italy and Korea will battle for promotion to the top division for the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship that will be held in Cologne, Germany, and Paris, France.

“The board’s opinion is that the city of Katowice and the Silesia district will offer us better financial support and promotion conditions than Krakow,” said Dawid Chwalka, the President of the Polish Ice Hockey Federation, about the proposal.

“The most important thing in this case is the fact that the Spodek Arena had hosted World Championship events in the past. That event was successful and was very lucky for the Polish team and fans. We will now have two championships within two years in the two major hockey capitals of our country.”

The 9,500-capacity Spodek Arena is a multi-purpose arena with a large hall as well as a smaller permanent ice rink that is home to the GKS Katowice ice hockey club. The last major sporting event recently held in Spodek was the 2014 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship.

Last year, the smaller ice rink at Spodek hosted the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship Division I Qualification. Early next year the arena will also host the 2016 European Handball Championship.

Spodek is also well-known for being the site of Poland’s 6-4 victory against the Soviet Union on the opening day of the 1976 IIHF World Championship, one of the biggest upsets in the history of international ice hockey. The big arena at Spodek also hosted the IIHF World Championship B-Pool in 1997 and 2000.


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