May 24, 2019
Ice Hockey UK and the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham are honoured to announce that the venue will host a stage of the qualifiers for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The Olympic Pre-Qualification Round 3 Group J tournament will be held from Thursday 6th to Sunday 9th February 2020.
Great Britain, who secured their top-flight World Championship status on Monday, will be joined by Hungary, Estonia and a qualifier from the previous round.
The winner of the four-team group will advance to the final qualifying for the Winter Olympics.
Ice Hockey UK chairman, Richard Grieveson, said: “This is something very special for us and an offer we were delighted to accept.
“Following the success of our men’s team in Slovakia over the past two weeks, we feel it is important to build on that momentum.
“We believe Nottingham is a great venue for this tournament and we are looking forward to welcoming thousands of ice hockey supporters to the UK in February.”
IHUK general secretary, Andy French, said: “As top seeds in the four-team group we had the first-refusal and we are excited that the UK will be hosting Olympic qualifying.
“We have a great record with the IIHF in putting on major tournaments. We have regularly hosted women’s and junior tournaments and, of course, held the men’s World Championship Division I Group B event in Belfast a couple of years ago.”
Martin Ingham, chief executive of the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham, said: “We are delighted to be hosting an Olympic Qualifying tournament here at the National Ice Centre and Motorpoint Arena Nottingham.
“British ice hockey is enjoying a fantastic resurgence and we are seeing at first-hand the increasing excitement and interest around the GB team and British ice hockey in general.
“Nottingham is the proud home of the Elite League playoff finals weekend, the Nottingham Panthers and many successful ice hockey clubs.
“We look forward to welcoming fans from around the UK and Europe to our world-class arena in our friendly and vibrant city.”
Councillor David Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and IT, said: “This is fantastic for the city of Nottingham and we are excited to be hosting a top-class sporting event in the city.
“Nottingham has a good tradition of hosting world-class sporting events and the city has a great passion for ice hockey.
“We look forward to welcoming fans from all four teams to our wonderful city next February.”
The game schedule and ticket prices will be announced in due course.
Words: Chris Ellis/IHUK. Photo: Dean Woolley