COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Hockey announced today it has narrowed the candidate cities vying to host the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship to Buffalo, New York; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and St. Louis, Missouri.
Officials from USA Hockey will visit each of the three finalist cities over the next month and a final decision on the host for the event is expected by the end of the year.
“We look forward to this next step in our selection process,” said Mike Bertsch, assistant executive director of marketing, communications and events for USA Hockey. “It was extremely difficult to get down to three. All five of the cities we were considering made a compelling case.”
In late July, USA Hockey announced Buffalo, Chicago, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa as five finalists to host the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship.
The IIHF World Junior Championship is an annual event that features 10 nations and the future stars of the NHL. It is conducted in late December/early January each year and includes the best male players in the world under the age of 20. All total, 31 games are played in the championship over a two-and-a-half week stretch with worldwide television coverage, including the NHL Network in the United States.
The IIHF World Junior Championship has been officially staged by the IIHF since 1977. USA Hockey has served as the host federation for the event on five occasions, including 1982 (Minneapolis/St. Paul), 1989 (Anchorage, Alaska), 1996 (Boston, Massachusetts), 2005 (Grand Forks, North Dakota/Thief River Falls, Minnesota) and 2011 (Buffalo, New York).
NOTES: The 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship will be staged in Helsinki, Finland, while the 2017 event will take place in Toronto and Montreal ... USA Hockey will host the 2016 IIHF U18 Men's World Championship April 14-24 in Grand Forks, North Dakota.