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The Bozner Sparkasse becomes the venue for international ice hockey games. © Vanna Antonello

World Cup in Bolzano! The ice hockey world is coming to South Tyrol

Exactly 30 years after Italy last hosted a major international tournament, it's that time again: next year, ice hockey fans can experience a World Cup right on their doorstep.

In 2024, Bolzano will be the venue for the B World Cup, which is officially called the World Cup of the 1st Division - Group A. The Italian ice sports association and the South Tyrolean capital as the venue were officially awarded the contract on Friday at the congress of the international ice hockey federation IIHF in Tampere (Finland). The tournament will be held from April 28th to May 4th, 2024.

Last year, Bruneck had put out feelers for the B World Cup, but at that time Nottingham, Great Britain, was given preference because of its larger hall. Now Italy's attempt was successful: the candidacy with the Bozner Sparkasse Arena was accepted - also because there was no competitor. The multiple World Cup host Budapest, which was also discussed for a long time, ultimately focused on title fights in the youth sector.

Participants have already been determined

A long dry spell is coming to an end for Bolzano. The last senior world championship took place in the Talferstadt (as well as in Milan and Canazei) in the distant year of 1994. Back then, the absolute superstars of the scene from Canada and Russia glided across the playing surface in the ice wave built for the title fights. Italy made it to the quarter-finals ahead of Austria and Germany, but then failed in Milan to Sweden.

Here are scenes from Italy's 1994 World Cup appearance in Bolzano against Canada:

This time the opponents at the home World Cup are Slovenia, Hungary, South Korea, Romania and Japan. The aim for the Blue Team is to be able to take part in the concert of the big players again the following year. After missing out on promotion recently in Nottingham, Italy is now aiming for a step up in class at home.
“Work for this event starts today.” FISG official Marcello Cobelli

“We are really looking forward to fighting for promotion in front of our home crowd. The Sparkasse Arena, with its 6800 seats, is the ideal venue,” explains Marcello Cobelli, who is responsible for the ice hockey sector in the Italian Ice Sports Association. The man from Val Gardena adds: “Work on this event starts today.”

Neumarkt and Ritten go away empty-handed

However, Italy had to accept a small downer at the IIHF Congress in Tampere. The candidacies of Neumarkt as a venue for the Women's World Cup (1st Division - Group B) and ride as the location for the U20 title fights (1st Division – Group A) came to nothing. Latvia and Slovenia were given priority here.


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