Ice Hockey World Championship 2004
Everything you need to know about the biggest sports event in Prague since the Velvet Revolution
The opening games will be played on Saturday, April 24th. The playoffs (quarterfinals) begin on Wednesday, May 5th and the final will be held in Prague on Sunday, May 9th.
Where is the tournament being held?
There are two venues: The new Sazka Arena in Prague and the ČEZ Aréna in the Vítkovice area of Ostrava in Northern Moravia. All the playoff games and all games involving the Czech national team will take place in Prague.
There are 16 national teams involved, divided into four groups:
Group A (Prague): Czech Republic, Germany, Latvia, Kazakhstan
Group B (Ostrava): Slovakia, Finland, Ukraine, USA
Group C (Ostrava): Sweden, Russia, Denmark, Japan
Group D (Prague): Canada, Switzerland, Austria, France
Who is the current reigning champion?
Canada won the 2003 tournament.
How is the tournament organized?
It's complicated... In the opening group phase teams in the same group play each other once. The top three teams from each group go through to the qualifying round while the last-placed team in each group goes into the relegation games.
Things start to get complicated at the qualifying round stage: The six teams based in Prague are grouped together in Group E while the six teams based in Ostrava are grouped together in Group F. Teams then play the three teams in their qualifying round group that they haven't already played. Based on the results of those games and the results of the games a team has already played against the two countries it was grouped with in the opening round, eight quarterfinalists emerge.
For the full program, visit the official World Championship website.
Do any of the early games matter?
Not really. Because there are only seven teams with a realistic chance of winning the championship (Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, USA) things only start getting exciting at the quarterfinal stage. The group phase and the qualifying round are really just a chance for the big teams to get warmed up.
Will my favorite NHL star be playing in Prague?
Probably not. The World Championship clashes with the NHL playoffs, meaning that most of the hockey world's biggest stars are otherwise engaged. (For the same reason, the World Championship is nearly always held in Europe.) But those players whose clubs fail to make the NHL playoffs or are eliminated early might decide to put in an appearance. (In short, the lousier your favorite NHL star's team is, the more likely he is to appear at the World Championship.) Speculation on who will or won't be coming usually continues right up to and beyond the start of the tournament, and is all part of the fun of the World Championship.
Can I still get tickets?
That depends. Demand for tickets has been enormous, meaning that most games are sold out. But how many of those tickets find their way onto the black market remains to be seen. For official information, see the Sazka Ticket website.
Video on YouTube
City plans to clean up swimming areas by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: Prague.eu)
The water quality in natural ponds is to be monitored and improved
J&T Banka Prague Open less than a month away by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (J&T Banka Prague Open FB)
Big stars are expected for the women's tennis tournament in Stromovka
Czech Baseball season starting by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: fotolia)
Eagles play the Nuclears in Krč on March 31 and Kotlářka Praha facing Tempo Titans Praha on April 1
Ralf Rangnick - The Man Behind German Newcomers RB Leipzig by Ross Kennerley - Prague.TV (Foto: Red Bull Content Pool)
Prague.TV interview with RB Leipzig's sporting director Ralf Rangnick
Prague to invest in new bike routes by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: fotolia)
An app is also intended to make using bike paths easier and safer
American football season starts in Prague by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: Prague Black Panthers FB)
The 24th season will see six teams compete in 13 regular rounds
Softball is returning to Prague in the aid of charity by Ross Kennerley - Prague.TV
The time has almost arrived when softball returns to Prague for people to have fun and help an NGO raise money for local education
Czech Extraliga playoffs crank up the heat on the ice by Ross Kennerley - Prague.TV (Foto: HC Sparta Praha FB)
An exciting period of Czech sport is approaching as the ice hockey Extraliga playoffs return
Jakub Sladek – European baseball star by Ross Kennerley - Prague.TV (Foto: baseball.cz)
Prague.TV interview with Kotlářka Praha star player Jakub Sladek
When the pride of Prague football is at stake by Ross Kennerley - Prague.TV (Foto: Slavia Prague)
As the Czech capital unites in attendance of derby matches, it divides in allegiance
Looking for a memorable experience in Prague?
Concert Tickets for Prague and Czech Republic
Become a Good Angel!
Translator and interpreter of the English language -...
HUGO Bike Prague & Segwaytrip
Outdoor Adventure Minigolf
Indoor Playground in Prague 5, Zlicin
Kotlářka Praha - American Baseball