Following organizational meetings in Bratislava, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has announced the groups for the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship that will take place from 8 to 24 May in Zurich and Lausanne, Switzerland.
Host Switzerland will play its games in Group B at the 11,200-seat Hallenstadion in Zurich that was reopened in 2005 following a complete year-long interior renovation. The Swiss will be joined by new world champion Finland and bronze medallist Russia as well as the United States, Latvia, Norway, Italy and Kazakhstan.
With 400,000 inhabitants in the city and 1.5 million in the region, Zurich is the largest city in the country. The arena in its old configuration hosted the Worlds in 1953 and 1998. Zurich was also a host in 1939.
Canada, the recent finalist and first-ranked nation in the 2019 IIHF Men’s World Ranking leads the seeding in Group A in Lausanne that also includes Sweden, the world champion from 2017 and 2018, as well as the Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Denmark, Belarus and Great Britain.
The group will be played at the brand-new 9,500-seat arena in Lausanne that is currently being rebuilt to replace the old Malley rink. It will open in autumn and prior to the Worlds will also host the ice hockey competitions of the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
Lausanne is the second-largest city in the French-speaking area of Switzerland with 350,000 inhabitants in the region. It is known to be an international sports hub, and is where the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as well as many international sport federations have their headquarters.
The seeding is based on the IIHF Sport Regulations and the 2019 IIHF Men’s World Ranking, which was established following Sunday’s gold medal game and takes into consideration the results in World Championships and Olympics during the last four years, with one horizontal swap to accommodate special organizational needs.
The 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship will be the tenth hosted in Switzerland since 1935. Most recently Switzerland was host to the biggest annual winter sports event in 2009 in Bern and Zurich-Kloten.
The ticket sale has started with the first stage in which preliminary round, final round and arena packages for both arenas are available. Day tickets will become available in September 2019 and in February/March 2020 single-game tickets for games not already sold out will be made available.