IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A to be held in the UK in Nottingham

Team GB. Photo credit: Dean Woolley
Photo: Dean Woolley

Ice Hockey UK has been successful in its bid to host the 2023 World Championship Division I Group A at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham.

The GB proposal secured 54 per cent of the vote, beating a bid from Italy to secure the hosting rights for what will be the most prestigious ice hockey tournament ever to be held in the UK.

It will be the second men’s tournament to take place in the UK in six years after the Division I Group B tournament in Belfast in 2017, which saw GB promoted with five wins from five matches.

GB will be joined by Italy, Lithuania, Korea, Poland and Romania in the six-team group, with the tournament taking place from 29th April to 5th May 2023.

The teams finishing first and second in the group will be promoted to play in the 2024 top-level World Championship in Prague and Ostrava in Czechia.

IHUK General Secretary, Andy French, said: “It’s so exciting to be hosting another huge international ice hockey tournament.

“This will further cement GB on the ice hockey world map by staging a tournament of this scale. It is great for the national team and huge for the sport of ice hockey in the UK.

“The chance to bid for 1A came about very suddenly. Relegated teams are only allowed to bid to host if none of the other teams in the group put forward a proposal.

“We hosted a very successful 1B tournament in Belfast in 2017 and this is another level up from that. We look forward to working with our friends from the National Ice Centre in the coming months.”

National Ice Centre Chief Executive, Martin Ingham, said: “It is great news for British ice hockey and our venue team that the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham has been chosen.

“We are very grateful and honoured to be trusted by the IIHF to deliver such an important event in the ice hockey calendar.

“Our arena hosted successful, high-quality Olympic Qualifying events for both men and women in 2020 and 2021.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to once again offer the international ice hockey family and teams from Italy, Eastern Europe and Korea a very warm welcome to both our wonderful venue and to the vibrant city of Nottingham.”

Chair of IHUK, Clifton Wrottesley, said “Being awarded a major IIHF tournament, particularly one that could have such important role in helping the process of continuing to develop the sport in the UK, shows how far we have come as an ice hockey nation recently, but it doesn’t stop here.

“We have ambitious plans involving international events over the next few years. Let’s show the ice hockey world what British hospitality is all about.

“It’s also an award that could have a crucial performance effect, in assisting the men’s team return to the IIHF World Championship Division.

“We have to do justice to the incredible performances of the men’s team over the past few years in the Championship Division and particularly their performances in Finland this year, where they took other top-flight nations close in three games, two of which we led for a good period of the games, all while missing key players.

“A home crowd, especially if we manage to fill the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham for every home game, could well be the defining factor in helping the men’s team head straight back up to the World Championship in Prague, Czechia in 2024.

“Personally, I can’t wait to see our guys back on home ice and to show IIHF that the quality of British event organisation and fan support is world class, if not world beating.”

Further details and ticket prices will be announced in due course.

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