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Sochi Test Events season successfully completed

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Fans at the Bolshoi Ice Arena in Sochi during a test event.

Fans at the Bolshoi Ice Arena in Sochi during a test event.

The Sochi 2014 Organising Committee brought the series of 2012-2013 season Test Events to a close with the final matches of the Ice Hockey U18 World Championship. The organisers staged 20 international Test Events at the 10 venues that are going to host the XXII Olympic Winter Games and the XI Paralympic Winter Games.

At a press-conference at the Bolshoi Ice Dome, the President of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, said:

We have efficiently overcome all the trials and can now say with confidence that we are ready to host the Games even in the most challenging conditions. The test events were organized by a large team, and I would like to thank everyone who took part in hosting them: Organizing Committee, Olympstroy, Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation, administrations of the Krasnodar region and the city of Sochi, contractors and of course our numerous volunteers who have become an integral part of our united team.

The Test Events of the 2012-2013 season set a new record in terms of the number of people involved: with more than 3,000 competitors, approximately 5,000 volunteers, over 1,500 media representatives and roughly 130,000 spectators visiting venues over the last six months.

During the Test Events, the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee successfully tested out all of the functions and services at the different venues. The Ticketing Programme was put into operation resulting in a total attendance that was almost double the original forecast.

Test events covered 15 Olympic sports and four of the five Paralympic sports.

Rene Fasel, President of the International Ice Hockey Federation, added:

We have two very good arenas. I like especially the small one, it is a really typical hockey arena with seven thousand seats, it’s deeper. For sure, the big arena, the Bolshoi, is a typical multi-purpose arena. It’s very nice, very convenient, big, with a lot of space and very good dressing rooms. There are small details to correct but that’s why we make the test event.

Lanxess Arena and Palais Omnisport de Paris-Bercy will host the 2017 ice hockey worlds

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A joint bid from France and Germany will take the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship to Paris and Cologne, the latter a well-known venue for international hockey fans. The Lanxess Arena played host to the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships in 2001 and 2010. It’s the largest venue for indoor sports by capacity in Europe offering 18,500 seats for hockey. Uwe Harnos, President of the German Ice Hockey Association, said:

Both countries have a long hockey history and the federations are working closely together. A World Championship in Paris and Cologne offers a great chance to develop our sport in France, Germany and Europe. We are looking forward to create an outstanding event for all teams and their fans with a unique atmosphere.

France has hosted the event twice, in Chamonix 1930 and in Paris 1951. 2017 games will take place in the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy, where the French Ice Hockey Federation started to host the French Cup Final seven years ago, and now this event sells out with 13,362 spectators. The arena will be renovated and expanded by 2015 so that it can offer seating for 15,000 fans for hockey games.

Franz Reindl, the General Secretary of the German Ice Hockey Association, who is set to assume the same role in the Organizing Committee as he did in 2010, said:

We want to have low prices and more spectators in big venues.. Tickets will be available for as little as €9 while the average price over all tournament stages and seat categories will be €39. Local transportation will be offered for free to ticketholders and participants.

Tickets will be sold centrally by CTS Eventim, which also owns the arena in Cologne. The committee calculates an attendance of 600,000 fans, with a capacity of 886,000 fans for all games.

During the 2013 IIHF Annual Congress, Latvia showed interest in bidding for 2018. Switzerland, with new arenas in Zurich and Geneva, and Slovakia, announced their intentions to bid for 2019.

Lanxess arena will host 2017 world champs.

Lanxess arena will host 2017 world champs.

Ice hockey to benefit from upgrade at Motorpoint

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The Motorpoint Arena Sheffield, home of the Sheffield Steelers, is making a major investment in new facilities. Stage one, which is currently underway, will upgrade the Arena’s roof for the first time since it opened in May 1991.

The second stage of the investment, due to start in July, will see all 12,500 seats replaced with the same seating that is used in London’s O2 Arena. There will also be new energy efficient lighting and external concourse doors.

The management will use a quiet period in July and August to replace the glass around the ice with Plexiglas, a transparent, lightweight and shatter-resistant alternative to glass, ready for the 2013/14 season of the Sheffield Steelers ice hockey team.

The investment plan will make a huge difference to the customer experience at the Motorpoint Arena. In particular, the scratch-resistant Plexiglas will vastly improve the view for Steelers fans who sit on the lower tier,

said Rob O’Shea, General Manager.

All of the Steelers believe that we have the best facility in the league, these improvements will just add to that. We want to be the best team playing in the best building. With the new video wall, the new glass, the seats it will be like playing in a brand new building. I can’t wait,

said Sheffield Steelers player Drew Fata.

Fans will get better views of the Sheffield Steelers following upgrade work at Motorpoint Arena. (Left to right) Steelers stars Drew Fata and Steven Goertzen.

Fans will get better views of the Sheffield Steelers following upgrade work at Motorpoint Arena. (Left to right) Steelers stars Drew Fata and Steven Goertzen.