Riga would like to host the men’s World Cup alone.
When Belarus on Monday lost its split World Hockey Championships, eyes turned to Latvia. Latvia, which is planned to be a World Cup partner in Belarus, is happy to organize the tournament alone.
Latvia has notified the International Hockey Federation (IIHF) that it is willing to host both World Cup qualifiers in the capital Riga. This requires the use of two hockey halls in the race city.
“Organizing a tournament in one hall is not technically possible in any way, even if played without an audience. It is mission impossible, ”says the Secretary General of the 2022 World Cup in Finland Heikki Hietanen know.
Newly the World Cup in Canada at the turn of the year was centralized in one hall, Rogers Place in Edmonton. The Under-20 Championships as a 28-match event has a much lower effort than the 64-game Men’s World Cup.
“During the competition, there will be three games for at least two days, which means that things will not go well with ice. Then there will be locker room problems. Especially during covid-19, changing rooms cannot be changed, ”Hietanen says.
“When there are ten countries in the youth competition, the tournament is still possible,” but in the adult 16 team competition, there is not enough Ice Time or circumstance in one hall.
Riga hosted the World Championships alone in 2006. At that time, the newly rough Riga Arena and the clearly older Skonto Arena were in use. The Riga Arena was originally the venue for this year’s World Cup, for which a companion should now be found.
Vice-Chairman of the IIHF Kalervo Kummola on Sunday, STT warned that another World Cup block in Riga could be played at the football stadium next to the Riga Arena.
“The people at IIHF have to wonder if playing at a football stadium is technically feasible. The World Cup will go to the June side, so the weather is quite warm. It must be decided whether the conditions are such that it allows you to play, ”says Hietanen.
Chief Consultant of the Tampere Arena, the center of the 2022 Finnish World Championships, Secretary General of the 2012 and 2013 World Championships Mika Sulin does not heat up for the football stadium option.
“I don’t believe in it, even though ice can be built anywhere. Air conditioning and cooling are too difficult an equation in the heat of early summer, ”Sulin says.
To Riga is an alternative to the split World Cup tournament to accompany Herning in Denmark or Bratislava in Slovakia, the 2018 and 2019 race cities.
“The IIHF board is scheduled to meet on 27 January. The decision on the race city must be made by the end of the month at the latest. Whoever organizes it is time to start going to naphtha, ”Hietanen points out.
Sulin once consulted both the Riga Arena and the Bratislava Hall.
“If another venue is chosen based on logistics,” Bratislava is an easier option than Herning. A hotel connected to the Bratislava Hall would make it easier to build a corona bubble.