ARLINGTON, Va. – Four teams participating in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey will hold pre-tournament practices and exhibition games in Washington, D.C., from Sept. 12-15, 2016, the National Hockey League, the National Hockey League Players’ Association and the Washington Capitals announced today. The United States will face Finland on Sept. 13, at Verizon Center and Sweden will face Team Europe on Sept. 14. In addition, Verizon Center and Kettler Capitals Iceplex will host practices for the United States, Sweden, Finland and Team Europe. Practice dates and times will be announced at a later date.
The World Cup of Hockey returns in September 2016 in Toronto, where eight teams, comprised of the world’s best hockey players, will compete for a best-on-best international hockey championship. The World Cup of Hockey is a joint effort of the NHLPA and the NHL, in cooperation with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). It is expected that more than 150 of the best players in the NHL will participate in this tournament. Live coverage of all tournament games will be provided by Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada and ESPN in the United States. A complete broadcast schedule will be announced at a later date.
All Washington Capitals full-season account members who have renewed their full-season plans for the 2016-17 season will have the first opportunity to buy ticket packages for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey exhibition games. Information regarding availability, pricing and seat locations will be announced at a later date.
Kettler Capitals Iceplex, the official practice facility of the Capitals, will also host practices for select teams. All practices at Kettler Capitals Iceplex will be free and open to the public. The Capitals ushered in a new era for the franchise in 2006 with the opening of Kettler Capitals Iceplex, a community ice rink in Arlington, Va., that serves as the Capitals’ training facility and home to the team’s administrative offices. The 137,000-square-foot facility includes two NHL-size ice rinks with seating for approximately 1,200, office space, two pro shops, a snack bar, media facilities and additional space for special events. The 20,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art training center for the Capitals features a large weight and fitness room, extensive athletic-training and medical facilities, spacious locker-room and lounge areas, a theater-style classroom and a high-tech video room.
In 2013, Kettler Capitals Iceplex hosted the United States Olympic Men’s National Team Orientation Camp, designed to assist in the preparation of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team that competed at the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. It also hosted the U.S. Under-18 Select Team and U.S. Under-17 Select Team on numerous occasions, including in August 2015.
In Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia, USA Hockey youth participation has grown significantly over the last few years. From 2002-13, Washington, D.C., saw 566% growth in its youth hockey participation, Virginia saw 66% growth and youth hockey participation grew 32% in Maryland.