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Rīga to spend more than half a million euros on hosting World Ice Hockey Championship

At a meeting of the Rīga City Council committee on financial and administrative affairs on Thursday, May 6, councillors supported the allocation of more than half a million euros to go towards the costs of hosting the 2021 World Ice Hockey Championship run by the Swiss-based International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).

526,000 euros of public money will go towards hosting the tournament in the Latvian capital from May 21 to June 6.

"Most of the funding, 500,000 euros, is intended to cover organizational expenses, including catering and accommodation for participants in Rīga hotels, use of sports facilities, etc., but 26,000 euros - for bus rental for transportation of participants," said a council press release.

The cash will be allocated from the Riga City Council reserve fund.

The main game hall will be Arena "Riga" and will host Group B, two quarter-finals, a semi-final round and medal games. The second venue of the Games in Riga will be the Olympic Sports Center, which will be transformed into an ice rink with capacity for 6,000 spectators (it remains to be decided whether spectators will actually be allowed, though it seems highly doubtful given the epidemiological situation), and will host Group A and two quarter-finals games. Daugava ice hall will serve as a training hall. To ensure a "competition bubble", all 16 teams will be housed in one hotel.

The council said this would "promote the city's visibility and business environment".

As prevously reported by LSM, the tournament was originally due to be jointly hosted by Latvia and Belarus.

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