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Hockey game, Source: Riga Municipality

Next month the hockey world will focus on Riga

Next month the hockey world will focus on Riga

The Latvian capital will start the summer by hosting a very icy sport

The 2021 Men’s World Hockey Championship will take place in Riga between 21 May and 6 June, featuring the 16 best teams in that discipline from around the world. The Latvian capital is already looking forward to that major event and preparing accordingly. On 22 April, its official website reported that 83,300 euros have been disbursed by the Committee on Financial and Administrative Affairs for the purpose of thematic design and information support to be implemented in the urban environment.

Initially, the event was planned to be shared between Riga and Minsk

Unlike football, hockey fans have the opportunity to enjoy this high-level international tournament every year (since 1930), taking place in a different country. Last year, it was cancelled, due to the coronavirus pandemic and this year it was supposed to take place both in Riga and the Belarussian capital of Minsk.

Given the political tension that ensued in Belarus last year, the organizers have decided that in terms of ‘security’ it was better to hold the championship only in Riga. The other cited reason was the desire to reduce unnecessary travel to multiple destinations during what is still an ongoing pandemic.

Riga’ municipal website was scarce on details of how the preparations were going for the upcoming event, but it was mentioned that costs were one of the main factors considered. For example, the initial budget demand for the thematic design was 109,600 euros but a more advantageous offer was then selected that will ensure a cheaper production and placement of the mascot image around the urban environment. The mascot representing the tournament will be the hedgehog Spiky.

It is expected that about a billion people will follow the World Hockey Championship and the venues which will host the games are: Arena Riga and the Olympic Sports Centre.

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