TORONTO -- The NHL and NHL Players' Association want fans to enjoy more than the games at the World Cup of Hockey 2016.
The Scotiabank World Cup of Hockey Fan Village will help make that happen.
The Fan Village, located in the Distillery District in Toronto (just east of Air Canada Centre, where the games will be played), will be free and open to the public from Sept. 16-25 and cater to all hockey fans.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said it was important to the League and the Players' Association to get fans involved in the World Cup, which will run Sept. 17-Oct. 1.
"This, from our standpoint, is an international competition that will be unrivaled in its competitiveness and its impact," Commissioner Bettman said. "We made the decision early on that we wanted to do it in Toronto, arguably the capital or one of the capitals of hockey in all of the world. And whenever we do a big event, we want to emphasize the things that we do in the community beyond playing the game, whether it's diversity inclusiveness, environmental impact. We want it to leave a legacy behind so it will be more to Greater Toronto and Canada than just the two weeks we're playing the tournament here."
Said NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr: "We think it is very important when you do an event like this to involve the city, involve the community and leave something behind that the people will remember. In addition to that, if you are going to establish an event like this which we expect to be repeated at regular intervals, you need to be demonstrating that it is something more than simply another athletic competition."
Video screens in the Fan Village will broadcast all World Cup games. There also will be a variety of entertainment activities for fans of all ages.
The East Fan Village will be anchored on one side by a main stage that will feature concerts and other programing. Among the bands playing will be former NHL player Theo Fleury's band, Theo Fleury and the Death Valley Rebels. There also will be entertainment geared toward children, including visits by characters from "Paw Patrol," and readings from books "Brady Brady" and "Hero The Hero."
There also will be the Scotiabank Street Hockey Rink, where fans will be able to play 3-on-3 street hockey games, and a Molson Canadian Hockey House, where fans can watch the games. NHL alumni will be on hand to mingle with fans, and the Molson Canadian Human Bubble Hockey game will be the first life-size bubble-hockey competition.
The Rogers Fan Hub will be filled with innovative and technology-driven interactive experiences, showcasing virtual and augmented reality to unite fans and players from all over the world.
The Fan Village will have ticketed events as well. On Sept. 16, there be an opening celebration during which all the players will be introduced. There also will be a musical act performing in support of the event. On Sept. 23, a yet-to-be-announced major act will perform.
Tickets for each event go on sale at 10 a.m. on Aug. 25.
The Fan Village will be open from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. on weekends and 2 p.m. until 11 p.m. on weekdays.
"While the tournament is going to be competitive beyond belief, we wanted it to be something that if you are part of the community you can feel a part of it, even if you are not at the game," Commissioner Bettman said. "Also, if you are going to travel here to see the incredible hockey, there are going to be a lot of things to do that celebrate our sport."