2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship at SSE Arena
Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Brian Kingston, opened the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship at the SSE Arena.
Six countries – Team GB, Croatia, Estonia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Japan – will battle it out on the ice this week to be crowned champions in the major tournament, hosted by Ice Hockey UK.
Belfast City Council is supporting the tournament – the first in a number of key international sporting events taking place in the city this year. The 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship (Division 1 – Group B) is hosted by Ice Hockey UK for the first time in 25 years
The Lord Mayor was joined by Henrik Nielsen, Tournament Chairman and Eric Porter, Chairman of the Odyssey Trust, to officially open the event before the first match got underway between Japan and the Netherlands.
Alderman Kingston said: “As First Citizen of Belfast, I’m truly delighted that this prestigious tournament is taking place in our city. Belfast City Council is honoured to support the event and proud that the International Ice Hockey Federation chose Belfast as the host city.
“This is a unique opportunity to see some of the finest ice hockey talent from across the world on display. With teams from six countries competing, this will lead to a great competition that will enhance the profile of ice hockey not only in our city but within the UK and of course lead to greater successes for our already successful local team –the Belfast Giants.
“I wish all the competitors every success and would like to extend a warm welcome to all of our visitors this week whether they are competitors, officials or spectators.”
The IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship has been supported through funding by Belfast City Council. Other key international sporting events the Council is backing are the 24 hour World Running Championships in July; the UEFA Women’s Under 19 European Championship and Women’s Rugby World Cup in August; the NI Connections Friendship Four Ice Hockey Tournament in November and the NCAA Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational Tournament in December.
For further information on the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, visit http://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/events/Event-72030.aspx and http://wmib2017.iihf.com/
Tickets are currently on sale for the tournament and can be purchased through various outlets such as online via Ticketmaster, from the SSE Arena Box Office in person or by calling 028 9073 9074.