Denmark will play host to the International Ice Hockey Federation’s (IIHF) World Championship for the first time after winning a landslide vote for the 2018 edition at the governing body’s World Congress in Minsk.
Denmark’s successful bid will result in Copenhagen and Herning serving as host cities and the proposal overcame a pitch from the Latvian capital Riga by 95 votes to 12. The latter bid was seeking to hold the tournament at Arena Riga, which was home to the 2006 World Championship.
Denmark has never staged an IIHF World Championship, having fallen short in the bidding process on two previous occasions. Its bid for the 2018 showpiece received support from the national government, along with the Danish Olympic Committee and national sport event organisation, Sport Event Denmark.
IIHF president René Fasel said: “Congratulations Denmark. You had a very strong bid already last year against a strong competitor. I’m surprised though that the difference in the votes was that big. But this is the charm of our congress. The congress decides exclusively. Denmark is a new market to us centrally in Europe. I hope we will have a party for all ice hockey fans in Denmark.”
Denmark has competed at the World Championship for the past 12 years and its ice hockey team is currently ranked 13th in the world. The 2015 and 2016 World Championships will be held in Czech Republic and Russia respectively before the French and German cities of Paris and Cologne co-host the 2017 event.