International Ice Hockey Federation

Division I Group A in Kyiv

Division I Group A in Kyiv

Historic venue to host six-team event

Published 24.11.2016 17:46 GMT+4 | Author Martin Merk
Division I Group A in Kyiv
The Palace of Sports in Kyiv during the Olympic Qualification in 2012. Photo: Martin Merk
The 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A will be hosted in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv in a historic but modernized venue.

The Ukrainian bid got the majority vote from the 2016 IIHF Annual Congress against the one from Austria with a city that would have been determined later. Ukraine was originally foreseen to host the event in 2015 in Donetsk but had to withdraw due to the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine and the event was held in Krakow, Poland, instead.

This time Ukraine is ready. The Palace of Sports in downtown Kyiv was refurbished for several million euros ahead of the Division I event at the same venue in 2011, and in 2012 it also hosted one of the Olympic Qualification events for Sochi 2014.

The indoor venue was originally built in 1960 next to the national stadium and in that era hosted games of Sokil Kyiv in the Soviet league and even games against two NHL teams touring the Soviet Union, the Calgary Flames in 1989 and the Minnesota North Stars in 1990.

After the modernization work in 2011, the 7,000-seat arena retained its status as the country’s primary indoor sports and entertainment venue. Among other events held at the arena were the Eurovision Song Contest in 2005 as well as concerts including international stars such as Anastasia, Britney Spears, Deep Purple, Depeche Mode, Lenny Kravitz and Sting.

Ukraine played in the Division I Group A for two consecutive years in 2014 and 2015 when it was relegated. Last year the Ukrainians won the Division I Group B to earn promotion back to this tier.

Hungary and Kazakhstan, which were relegated from the top division last spring, together with Poland, Austria, Korea and host Ukraine will battle for two spots in the top division for the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Denmark at the Palace of Sports from 22 to 28 April 2017.

 

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