Minsk, the capital of Belarus, will host the 2014 IIHF World Championship.
Belarus got 75 votes in the race for hosting the 2014 IIHF World Championship at the Annual Congress of the International Ice Hockey Federation in Bern and beat the other candidates - Hungary (24 votes), Latvia (3) and Ukraine (3).
The 2014 World Ice Hockey Championship will be held on 9-25 May 2014.
IIHF officials and international ice hockey stars (video) have spoken very highly of Minsk Arena.
Minsk hotels are ready to welcome over 5,000 guests. The best hotels in the Belarusian capital are Europe, Minsk, Crowne Plaza and Victoria. In 2013 another comfortable world-class complex, the five-star President Hotel, opened in the city center.
The one- to three-star hotels, such as Sputnik, Zvezda, Voyazh and others, have quite reasonable prices. Minsk is seeing a rapid development of the hostel network, too. The eleven existing hostels can accommodate about 450 people.
Currently about 40 projects in the Belarusian capital are being implemented by hotel operators from Belarus and abroad (Kempinski, Mаrriott, Hilton). A number of new and renovated hotels with various star ratings to accommodate 3,000 people will have opened by the spring of 2014. Guests of the 2014 IIHF World Championship will be able to choose from a total of 43 hotels and 12 halls of residence of which seven are part of the new complex Student Village.
Official participants of the world championship, teams, referees, IIHF officials and journalists, will be accommodated in the hotels Minsk, President Hotel, Europe, Crowne Plaza, Victoria-1, Victoria-2, Victoria-Olymp, Garni, Renaissance, Robinson Club, Narochanskaya, Svisloch and Belarus.
The fans will be able to stay in the city’s hotels, hostels, halls of residence and a Fan Village.
The official tour operator of the 2014 IIHF World Championship, the company TsentrKurort, offers convenient packages which include match tickets, travel tickets for all types of transport in Minsk, sightseeing and other services.
An additional runway will be built at the Minsk National Airport. All major international motorways crossing Belarus will be made four-lane.
Four new traffic interchanges will be constructed to ease the traffic near the ice arenas, additional metro stations will be built, and the city commuter train service will be introduced.
The Belarusian authorities have ruled to make the entry to Belarus during the 2014 IIHF World Championship (on 25 April – 31 May 2014) visa-free.
The problem of terrorism in Belarus is nonexistent, and the crime rate is low. Belarusian people are tolerant and hospitable.
In addition, the Belarusian Interior Ministry has jointed efforts with the Emergencies Ministry, the Healthcare Ministry and the Ice Hockey Federation of Belarus and created a system of additional security measures for the IIHF World Championship.
Not all Minskers speak foreign languages. The Education Ministry in cooperation with youth organizations will recruit volunteers with foreign language skills to help guests and participants of the 2014 World Ice Hockey Championship . The volunteers will be deployed in all public places of the city.
The 2014 IIHF WC playing scheme will remain the same as for the 2012 and 2013 tournaments. This means that 16 teams participating in the preliminary round will be divided in two eight-team groups. After the first stage four best national teams from each group advance to the quarterfinal.
Tickets for the 2014 IIHF World Championship cost from €6 to €400 (final matches).
Tickets for the 2014 IIHF World Championship are available at the box offices of Belarus and online. The organizers of the championship have concluded an agreement with foreign partners to sell tickets in other countries.
During the IIHF World Championship two fan zones and three hospitality zones will be operating in Minsk.
Those who will be left without tickets for matches will be able to watch games on huge screens in the fan zones located next to the main arenas of the championship, Minsk Arena and Chizhovka Arena.
Cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops and ice hockey stores will be open, too. Retail outlets will offer beer (no strong alcoholic drinks will be available). A variety of entertainment programs will be offered. Entrance to fan zones will be free.
Three hospitality zones will be set up in Minsk to offer entertainment programs and broadcast and rebroadcast matches. Souvenirs will be available there, too. Hockey enthusiasts will be offered to taste traditional Belarusian dishes and to chill out.
These zones will be located:
The zone near the Student Village will be open until 03h00, while two other zones will close at midnight. Opening hours of the hospitality zone near the Sports Palace will be extended to 03h00 on 9 May and from 22 to 25 May.
In May Minsk shops will be open until 23h00 and restaurants until 06h00.
The Belarusian Ice Hockey Federation announced an open mascot design competition for the 2014 IIHF World Championship. As many as 40 design proposals were submitted. The image of the bison, one of Belarus’ symbols, was named the official mascot of the IIHF World Championship in Minsk. The mascot was created by artist and designer from Minsk Vitaly Ortyukh.
A nationwide contest for the best name and story/biography for the official mascot of the 2014 IIHF World Championship was announced in March 2013.
Following the competition, which had almost 300 proposals filed, the mascot got the name Volat (the heroic warrior – in Belarusian).
In the Eastern Slavic mythology a volat is a tall and very strong warrior. Legends have it that they lived on Belarusian lands and were buried in long burial mounds called volotovki. In Belarus there are villages which names and history are said to be directly related to volats.
Name the Mascot competition winners, Maria Matskevich and Leonid Kravchenko, came up with interesting "hockey" biographies for the main symbol of the 2014 IIHF World Championship.
The organizers stress that the name Volat sounds almost identical in different languages. It will be easy for hockey fans to pronounce and write it.
The Directorate for the 2014 IIHF World Championship has the exclusive right to use the mascot for advertising purposes.
The visual identity of the 2014 Minsk Ice Hockey World Championship represents a graphic concept titled as "Multifaceted Feast!" The slogan of the Minsk tournament is "Enjoy the Moment Together!"
In early 2008 the Belarusian Ice Hockey Federation announced a competition to decide on the best Belarusian 2014 IIHF WC bid logo. The organizing committee received more than 200 works, designer Victoria Adamovich’s laconic logo winning the competition. The 2014 IIHF WC logo is recognizable and popular. The logo is used to make souvenirs and ads of the tournament. One can also see it on the public transport, bills and billboards.
As many as 500 days prior to the competition about 40 Belarusian enterprises began manufacturing souvenirs with the 2014 IIHF WC logo. Among the most popular ones are T-shirts, caps, scarves, towels, pucks, hockey sticks (including decorative made from cut glass), badges and magnets. These souvenirs are available in shops, passenger stations and the National Airport Minsk.
Three months prior to the tournament the souvenir manufacturing rights will belong to the International Ice Hockey Federation.