Prague, Czech Republic – Switzerland is to host the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. At its congress in Prague, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has today approved the candidature from the Swiss Ice Hockey Federation (SIHF). This makes Switzerland stage the nearly three-week major international event again, since it last hosted it in 2009. For 2020, Zurich is being considered as the main and Lausanne as second venue – with Zug being an alternative option. The final decision on the venue is expected to be reached over the course of next year.
The SIHF will implement the organisation and national marketing of the tournament together with Infront, as part of a 50/50 joint venture. The international sports marketing company has already supported the federation throughout the bidding period. As was the case in 2009, Gian Gilli – who brings more than 20 years of experience from various leadership positions in Swiss sports – will take the role of Director of the Organising Committee.
The ice hockey showcase will take place in April/May 2020, with the motto LOVE. ICE HOCKEY. The logo for the event (as part of a comprehensive visual identity) draws together symbolic elements and shapes from both Switzerland and the world of ice hockey. The basic outline of the iconic Edelweiss plant has been merged into what appears to be an ice crystal, cleverly constructed from shapes conveying the graphical elements of the sport such as the puck and stick. The design is further drawn together with the Swiss cross at the centre of the icon and the traditional Swiss colour scheme of red and white.
René Fasel, IIHF President, commented: “The Swiss Ice Hockey Federation has come up with a convincing concept to stage the biggest event in international ice hockey once more. We are certain that the teams, fans, sponsors and media will again experience an excellently organised tournament, in a host country with a long ice hockey tradition, short distances and a first-class infrastructure.”
Marc Furrer, SIHF President, said: “In 2020, Switzerland is to once again play host to the world's ice hockey elite and act as the centre stage of an event watched by millions of viewers. Our goal with the World Championship is to generate valuable impact for ice hockey in Switzerland – so that it continues to play a leading role in our sports landscape. The partnership with Infront allows us to build on the successful cooperation of the 2009 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship and to benefit from the company’s long-standing experience in our sport.”
Philippe Blatter, President & CEO of Infront, said: “In Switzerland, ice hockey is one of the three most popular sports, with the league experiencing the greatest average attendance in Europe. This offers the very best conditions for a unique stadium atmosphere which will be transmitted to viewers on screens around the world. We will contribute our considerable consulting expertise from the successful organisation of previous IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships to implement this major highlight of the Swiss sports year 2020.”