Hockey in the ‘bubble’ will continue for the foreseeable future.
The International Ice Hockey Federation confirmed on Thursday that Rogers Place will be the site of the 2021 World Junior Championship on Thursday, meaning Edmonton will host another huge hockey event with no fans in attendance.
The move to a single venue in Edmonton will require a review of the tournament schedule, which will be announced at a later date, and no dates have yet been confirmed for the reworked event.
“This is a tough decision to have to take, but ultimately we did not have a choice,” said IIHF President René Fasel.
“The health and safety of players, officials, and fans is our top priority. We were impressed with the presentation from the local organizing committee outlining how a potential “bubble” scenario would operate within Edmonton, and we are confident that we can follow the NHL’s great example in creating a safe environment for teams to compete.”
Edmonton’s Rogers Place is currently hosting the last two rounds of the NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs.
Hockey Canada has also approved the decision to keep the the World Juniors in Alberta for the next two years.
The 2021 event’s organizers say a competition bubble will isolate teams and tournament officials within the same Edmonton Ice District that is currently being used for the NHL.
Additionally, the IIHF says there will be no promotion or relegation following the 2021 tournament.
In order to help with the costs to host a competition bubble for the tournament, the IIHF Council along with Hockey Canada and the Swedish Ice Hockey Association have agreed that the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship will be hosted in Edmonton and Red Deer, with the expectation that the 2022 World Juniors would be held with fans in both venues.
The 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship was scheduled to be hosted in Gothenburg, Sweden. Under the new agreement, Sweden will host the 2024 World Juniors.