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Belfast Lord Mayor Welcomes IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Officials

Lord Mayor of Belfast Alderman Brian Kingston, welcomed a delegation to City Hall this week in preparation for the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship - taking place in Belfast this April.

Representatives from the IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) and IHUK (Ice-Hockey UK) are in the city for an inspection visit which includes a tour of the SSE Arena, where the prestigious tournament will take place from Sunday 23 April to Saturday 29 April. They were joined in their visit to City Hall by representatives from the Odyssey Trust and Stena Line Belfast Giants.

The 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Championship Division 1 Group B will be hosted by Ice Hockey UK for the first time in 25 years at the SSE Arena. The six competing countries are Croatia, Estonia, Lithuania Netherlands, Japan and Team GB with each team playing each other for a total of 15 games.

The IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship is the first in a number of major international sporting events taking place in Belfast this year - supported through funding by Belfast City Council. Other key events are the UEFA Women’s Under 19 European Championship and Women’s Rugby World Cup in August; the NCAA Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational Tournament in December and the NI Connections Friendship Four Ice Hockey Tournament in November.

The Lord Mayor said: “I’m delighted to welcome our delegates from the IIHF and Ice-Hockey UK to Belfast this week, to not only check out the facilities at the SSE Arena where the tournament will take place in April, but also our key attractions in the city from our hotel offerings to top tourist venues.

“We are very much looking forward to working with them and our partners over the next few months, in preparation for showcasing this prestigious tournament to a local and international audience, as well as, our great city to the world.”

For more information on the tournament, visit

Photo Caption: Lord Mayor Alderman Brian Kingston welcomed a delegation to City Hall this week in preparation for the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship taking place in Belfast this April. Meeting the Lord Mayor were: Front Row, L-R:-  Steve Thornton (Head of Hockey Operations Stena Line Belfast Giants), Robert Fitzpatrick (Chief Executive Odyssey Trust), Adrian Doyle (Operations Director Odyssey Trust) and Neil Walker (General Manager The SSE Arena, Belfast).  Back Row, L-R:- Shane Johnson (Project Manager, 2017 World Championship), Andy French (General Secretary Ice Hockey UK), Richard Grieveson (Chairman Ice Hockey UK), Christian Hofstetter (Marketing Director IIHF), Piet Heer (Event Manager IIHF), Geoff Hemmerman (Operations Director Ice Hockey UK). The IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship will take place the SSE Arena from 23 to 29 April.

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