Germany to host 2027 Ice Hockey World Championship

Featured image credit: PSD Bank Dome

Germany has today (Friday) seen off competition from Kazakhstan to land the 2027 Ice Hockey World Championship, with the men’s national team tournament to be hosted across arenas in Düsseldorf and Mannheim.

International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) members voted for Germany over Kazakhstan at the world governing body’s annual congress. The 2027 World Championship will come a decade on from when Germany last staged the event, co-hosting the 2017 tournament with France.

The PSD Bank Dome (pictured) in Düsseldorf, with a capacity of 13,284, and the SAP Arena in Mannheim, with a capacity for 13,200 fans, have been chosen as the official venues. Düsseldorf has a history of hosting IIHF World Championships going back to 1955, as well as roles in the 1975 and 1983 events. Mannheim last played host in 2010.

German Ice Hockey Federation (DEB) secretary general, Claus Gröbner, said: “We are very happy. We put so much effort and work together into the application and today we were rewarded for it. 

“As of next week, the intensive preparation phase for the World Championship will begin for us. Almost four years until the event sounds like a lot, but it’s over quickly. We now have an intense, busy time ahead of us, which we want to use productively to be able to host a fantastic World Championship.”

In May 2022, Tampere, Finland and Riga, Latvia, secured co-hosting rights to the 2023 World Championship stripped from the Russian city of St. Petersburg, while Switzerland was awarded the 2026 edition.

The announcement at the IIHF’s 2022 annual congress saw the World Championship make a swift return to Finland and Latvia, with last year’s event hosted by the former and the latter having staged the 2021 Championship.

The IIHF has endured a period of upheaval for its flagship national team competition. The 2020 World Championship in Switzerland was cancelled due to COVID-19, while the hosting strategy was altered for both last year’s event and the 2021 competition.

In March 2022, Helsinki Halli was stripped of hosting rights for the 2022 Championship in Finland, with the decision reportedly linked to its connections to Russians on the international sanctions list. The 13,000-capacity arena was due to co-host the event alongside Nokia Arena. However, the IIHF announced that games scheduled to take place at the Helsinki Halli would be played at the smaller Helsinki Ice Hall.

The IIHF in February 2021 granted sole hosting rights for that year’s World Championship to Riga. The Latvian capital had been due to host the tournament alongside neighbouring Minsk in Belarus from May 21 to June 6, with games to be split between the Minsk Arena and Arena Riga.

However, the IIHF earlier stripped the Belarusian capital of its co-hosting rights due to safety and security issues the governing body stated were beyond its control. Belarus’ ability to host the event had been placed into doubt due to political instability in the country.

The 2022 IIHF Congress approved Switzerland as host country of the 2026 World Championship, which will take place in Zurich and Fribourg from May 15-31. No vote was required as the only other applicant, Kazakhstan, had earlier withdrawn its bid.

The 2023 World Championship is drawing to a close this weekend after being held at Nokia Arena in Tampere and Arena Riga. In between the 2023 and 2026 World Championships, the Czech Republic will stage the 2024 event in Prague and Ostrava, while the 2025 Championship will be co-hosted by Stockholm (Sweden) and Herning (Denmark).