May 27: The Worlds have officially been awarded to Finland and Latvia for 2023, while Switzerland has landed the 2026 event. Several other events have also been decided.
May 24: It appears as though the IIHF World Championship may not be leaving Finland at the end of the month. The country, along with Latvia, has submitted a new bid for the 2023 event, which had previously been stripped from Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine. There had been a joint application submitted by Hungary and Slovenia but it has now been withdrawn.
That means this new bid from Finland and Latvia–Tampere and Riga specifically–is currently the only application for the event, set for May 2023. The IIHF explains that Nokia Arena in Tampere, which is currently holding the 2022 event, would again serve as the main facility for the tournament. Arena Riga, unfortunately, was held mostly empty at the 2021 event due to COVID-19 restrictions, something that hopefully wouldn’t be necessary this time around.
The IIHF also explained that the Hungarian Ice Hockey Federation could not receive the governmental guarantees that were required to potentially host the event at the MVM Dome in Budapest, forcing the application to be withdrawn.
The decision is expected on Friday, when the IIHF council will also award the 2026 event–likely Switzerland, who is currently the only applicant. The 2024 event is set for Czechia, and in 2025 it will head to Sweden and Denmark.
Quarter-final matches for this year’s event will start on Thursday.