International Ice Hockey Federation

Zagreb welcomes hockey fans

Zagreb welcomes hockey fans

Ticket sale for Div. IB starts in March

Published 10.02.2016 19:03 GMT+1 | Author Zeljka Jurkas
Zagreb welcomes hockey fans
A full Dom Sportova during a game of Croatia’s club in the Russian-based Kontinental Hockey League, Medvescak Zagreb. Photo: Igor Soban
It will be three years almost to a day since the last men’s IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship event was held in Zagreb.

This April the very best of Ukraine, Great Britain, Lithuania, Estonia, Romania and the host, Croatia, will compete for gold and promotion to Division I Group A during the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in the Croatian capital.

The last Division I tournament in Zagreb was 13 years ago and in April it will once again be hosted at Dom Sportova, Zagreb's multi-purpose venue that opened in 1972. Since the first game, a basketball exhibition game between Europe and the USA on 17 June 1972, Dom Sportova has been a venue for the most important sports events held in Zagreb, and on a daily basis is home to over 30 sports clubs which use its eight halls for both training and competition purpose.

Among others, KHL Medvescak Zagreb, Croatia’s lone representative in the Kontinental Hockey League, calls Dom Sportova its home. The Bears, as the team is called, nicknamed it the Den and in it they have written some of the greatest success stories of late and brought hockey back on the map of Zagreb’s sports lovers.

At this venue the Croatian national team earned promotion to this level in 2013 when the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division II Group A was organized in Zagreb. The following year the Croats surprised everyone by taking the silver medal and finishing only one point behind Poland at the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group B in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Last year, however, the quick ascend slowed and the team finished fourth in Eindhoven, Netherlands. After the 2015 IIHF Annual Congress awarded the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group B to Zagreb, the President of the Croatian Ice Hockey Association, Nikola Svigir, was sure to welcome all the participants and fans:

“It is a pleasure and a great honour to once again have the IIHF World Championship Division I Group B in Zagreb. I believe that all the athletes, officials and guests will feel at home in our beautiful city. I can promise that as organizers, we will do everything in our power for their stay to remain an unforgettable memory.”

And he was pleased with yet another opportunity to grow the sport on every level, exactly 100 years since the first ice hockey game was played in Zagreb:

“Hockey has been a part of this country for a century now. With its ups and downs, and great honours like co-hosting the World Championship in 1966 at the Salata rink in Zagreb, our first artificial open ice rink. Today we look forward to the opportunity of growing the popularity of Croatian hockey.

“With that in mind we are happy to once again give our fans a chance to support and cheer on our national team on the world stage and to welcome our friends from other participating countries, who will undoubtedly help us create an exciting atmosphere.”

As you will find out when visiting Zagreb, although it does have a cosmopolitan buzz, with its high-end shops and malls, wine bars, night clubs, fancy restaurants and small artisan pastry shops, the overall atmosphere of the city is quite laid-back and with its thousands of coffee shops it will lure you into becoming a part of it simply by enjoying the favourite pastime – stopping for a cup of coffee.

Whether you’re more of an outdoor person, or one who prefers to keep it slow and simple, you’ll find Croatia’s capital can easily cater for all your needs. Medvednica with its green hiking trails and breathtaking views is a great option for a day off in your team’s busy competing schedule; or you just might want to stroll the city center, enjoy the sometimes bold mixture of new and classical architecture and let be taken away to a simpler time.

Whatever you choose, you will not be disappointed and while the people of Zagreb can be quite passionate when it comes to sports, and loud in the stands, they will welcome you with open arms.

The 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group B will take place 17-23 April 2016. The ticket sale will start approximately one month before the start of the tournament on as well as at Ticketshop sales points in Croatia. Prices start at HRK 40 (approx. €5) for a day package with three games and a tournament package will be available for HRK 160 (approx. €20).


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