Minsk, the capital of Belarus, hosted 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 was held on 9-25 May 2014.
IIHF officials and international ice hockey stars (video) had spoken very highly of Minsk Arena.
There are 43 hotels in Minsk which were able to accommodate over 9,000 guests.
The best hotels in the Belarusian capital are the five-star President Hotel, d’Europe, Crowne Plaza, Beijing, and the four-star Victoria, Minsk, Victoria Olymp, Monastyrskaya, Na Zamkovoi, Renaissance.
The one- to three-star hotels were also ready to welcome guests (Belarus, Arena, BonOtel, Sputnik, Zvezda, Voyazh and others). New economy-class hotels such as Sport Time, East Time, Halt Time, IT Time had opened in Minsk ahead of the 2014 IIHF World Championship.
The network of hostels had been expanding in Minsk. Now it includes 11 hostels for 450 people.
Guests of the 2014 IIHF World Championship were able to choose from a total of 43 hotels and 12 halls of residence of which seven were part of the new complex Student Village.
Official participants of the world championship, teams, referees, IIHF officials and journalists, were 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 were 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, offered convenient packages which included match tickets, travel tickets for all types of transport in Minsk, sightseeing and other services.
An additional runway was built at the Minsk National Airport. All major international motorways crossing Belarus were made four-lane.
Four new traffic interchanges were constructed to ease the traffic near the ice arenas, additional metro stations were built, and the city commuter train service was introduced.
The Belarusian authorities 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 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 recruited volunteers with foreign language skills to help guests and participants of the 2014 World Ice Hockey Championship. The volunteers were deployed in all public places of the city.
The 2014 IIHF WC playing scheme remained the same as for the 2012 and 2013 tournaments. This means that 16 teams participating in the preliminary round were divided in two eight-team groups. After the first stage four best national teams from each group advanced to the quarterfinal.
Tickets for the 2014 IIHF World Championship costed from €6 to €400 (final matches).
Tickets for the 2014 IIHF World Championship were available at the box offices of Belarus and online. The organizers of the championship had concluded an agreement with foreign partners to sell tickets in other countries.
During the IIHF World Championship two fan zones and three hospitality zones were operating in Minsk.
Those who had been left without tickets for matches were able to watch match highlights 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 were open, too. Retail outlets offered beer (no strong alcoholic drinks will be available). A variety of entertainment programs were offered. Entrance to fan zones was free.
Three hospitality zones were set up in Minsk to offer entertainment programs and rebroadcast matches. Souvenirs were available there, too. Hockey enthusiasts were offered to taste traditional Belarusian dishes and to chill out.
These zones were located:
The zone near the Student Village was open until 03h00, while two other zones will close at midnight. Opening hours of the hospitality zone near the Sports Palace were extended to 03h00 on 9 May and from 22 to 25 May.
In May Minsk shops were 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 is easy for hockey fans to pronounce and write it.
The Directorate for the 2014 IIHF World Championship had the exclusive right to use the mascot for advertising purposes.
The visual identity of the 2014 Minsk Ice Hockey World Championship represented 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 was used to make souvenirs and ads of the tournament. One could 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 were T-shirts, caps, scarves, towels, pucks, hockey sticks (including decorative made from cut glass), badges and magnets. These souvenirs were available in shops, passenger stations and the National Airport Minsk.
Three months prior to the tournament the souvenir manufacturing rights belonged to the International Ice Hockey Federation.