2011 IIHF World Championship
29th of April - 15th of May 2011, Slovakia.
The 2011 IIHF World Championship will be the 75th IIHF World Championship, an annual international ice hockey tournament. It will take place between the 29th of April and the 15th of May 2011 in Slovakia. The games will be played in the Orange Arena in Bratislava, and Steel Aréna in Košice. The Czech team is the defending champion.
This will be the first time the independent Slovakia will host the World Championships. However, this will be the third time that Bratislava has co-hosted the World Championships. The first two times were 1959 and 1992, each time with Prague, and while part of Czechoslovakia.
Four nations, all located in Europe placed formal bids to host the 2011 IIHF World Championship. Those nations were: Slovakia, Sweden, Hungary, Finland.
Finland withdrew from bidding before voting began in order to apply for the 2012 World Championship. Finland and Sweden would both later win respective bids to host in 2012 and 2013, but this decision was later changed instead for the two Nordic countries to be joint hosts of the 2012, and 2013 IIHF World Championship editions. After one round of voting, the winning bid was announced by IIHF president René Fasel on May 19, 2006, at the delegates congress of the International Ice Hockey Federation in Riga, Latvia. Slovakia's bidding cities received 70 votes, followed by the Swedish bid cities of Stockholm, and Gothenburg with 20 votes, and finally the Hungarian bid with 14 votes. The required 50% of the vote had been attained in the first round, which finalized Slovakia's successful bid.
Ivan Gašparovi?, the President of Slovakia, was instrumental in Slovakia winning its successful bid, as he came in person to the delegates congress in Riga to endorse his countries bid, and convince the IIHF delegates of the viability of Slovakia. Gašparovi? is himself an avid hockey fan and past vice-president of the Slovak Extraliga team, HC Slovan Bratislava. The official ambassadors of the 2011 IIHF World Championship Slovakia are Slovak hockey players Peter Bondra, Zdeno Chára, Marián Gáborík, ?ubomír Viš?ovský, Pavol Demitra, Jozef Stümpel, Marián Hossa, Miroslav Šatan and Slovak President Ivan Gašparovi?.
The Samsung Arena in Bratislava, also known as the Ondrej Nepela Arena, was substantially upgraded for the championship, in line with IIHF, Slovak, and international specifications, largely funded by the Slovakian government. Construction began on April 23, 2009 and was completed on November 30, 2010. More than €65 million ($90 million USD) was spent to install a new roof, modernize facilities, build two new adjacent practice arenas, and bring the seating from 8,350 to 10,000. The Steel Aréna, also known as the Ladislav Troják Arena, which was newly constructed in 2006, had a new €11 million practice rink built adjacent, between April 2009 and February 2010 for the World Championship legacy of future hockey development in Slovakia. The stadium will have the name Orange Arena, but only for the time of World Championship 2011 29 April 2011 to 15 May 2011.
Both arenas will be known by their Slovak honorific titles during the 2011 World Championship to correspond with IIHF neutral non-inclusive sponsorship rules. (Samsung Arena as the Ondrej Nepela Arena, and Steel Aréna as the Ladislav Troják Arena.)