Illustrative photo – President of the organizing committee of the IIHF World Ice Hockey Championship Petr Bříza (left) and general secretary of the organizing committee of the world championship Vladimír Šafařík spoke at a press conference for the 2024 World Ice Hockey Championship in the Czech Republic, presentation of the logo and graphic identity of the championship, 11. April 2023, Prague.
Tampere/Prague – The success of the hockey players of Germany and Latvia at the world championships in Tampere and Riga is also good news for the Czech organizers of the next world championship, which will take place in Prague and Ostrava in 2024 . The chairman of the organizing committee, Petr Bříza, believes that thanks to this, more fans will come to the matches. He told reporters in Tampere.
“It's great news, more fans will come to Prague in a year. In addition, it's also wonderful news for world hockey,” said Bříza. probably still today to confirm the division of teams into groups. At the moment it looks like Finland, USA, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Great Britain would play in Prague and Canada, Germany, Sweden, Slovakia, Latvia, France, Kazakhstan and Poland in Ostrava. However, the organizers have the right to replace one team in the group.
“We have certain options and we need to find the key to be able to fill both arenas. Smaller and larger. The huge advantage of the Czech Republic is that we are in the middle of Europe. I believe that through campaigns we can reach fans from a number of countries,” said Bříza, and in addition to the success of the Germans or Lotyšů also pointed to Poland's historic progress at the World Cup and the ideal driving distance to Ostrava. “In addition, we have developed a unique conference space offering scheme to offer federations, leagues or clubs space in the O2 universum,” said the former goalkeeper standout.
Next year's World Cup will be played from May 10 to 26, preparations for the top tournament are already in full swing “I think we are well prepared. Three quarters of our team have already gone through the organization in 2015, others have experience in organizing big sporting events. Hockey-wise, we have four good fives and good goalies,” said Bříza, adding that the Czech Republic is ready to follow up on the successful championship from 2015. “It is still mentioned today as one of the examples of how such an event should look. Not only because of the audience record , but also the quality of the organization,” says Bříza.
Eight years ago, a total of 741,690 spectators attended the match, which is a World Cup record. The vice-president of the IIHF is well aware that in order for the organizers to be able to repeat a similar success, there must also be a good economic situation in the Czech Republic and in Europe. After the complex covid restrictions, hockey, like households, now has to deal with the consequences of the war in Ukraine and, for example, high energy prices.
“When we managed the Olympics in Beijing, which we were afraid of, we thought that the world is returning to normal. And then February 24, 2022 came, which changed everything…,” Bríza recalled the beginning of the conflict. “We believe that the economic situation will improve, for example from the point of view of energy prices, it is not easy. I believe that the matches will be sold out and people will want to enjoy the festival. In 2015, they were an integral part of it. We had 89 percent attendance, which is unreal. We believe that the economic situation of the families will be such that we get closer to this number,” Bříza wished.