Hockey championship in Riga

In 2023 Riga is hosting its second IIHF ice hockey world championship in 3 years. The previous one was in 2021, in a semi-pandemic world. How many cities or countries have been able to manage that many world championships in such a short time?

What is special with ##IIHFWorlds this time?

State aid for the hockey championship

The Latvian government reportedly was slow to grant the state aid that was requested by the organizers. In March it was reported that the required state aid formulated by the Latvian Hockey Federation was 750 000 euro, while it was whole 2 million euro in July 2022.

For the organization of the championship, the Latvian Hockey Federation had established already prior to 2021 championship an SPV company – limited liability company SIA Hokeja Akadēmija.

As on the time of the 2023 championship the company’s annual report for 2021 is already submitted. On average the company has had 11 employees with a net turnover of EUR 9 995 476. Net profit has been set at EUR 869 486 (EUR 1 085 523 brut). Roughly this could be estimated as the equivalent or close to the equivalent of the profits for the 2021 championship, as the company does not have other comparative significant activities.

The agreement between the federation and the company is secret, therefore it is difficult to estimate what would be be actual gains for the Lativan ice hockey society at large.

Ticket sales operator

Local media have uncovered that the SPV company had contracted a company from Estonia to sell the tickets, that has unusually close ties to the decision makers.

It has been observed that in addition to the ticket price, which Latvian society consider to be quite high, compared to income, the arena”tax” and ticket sales “administration fee” has to be paid, approximately EUR 5 per purchase.


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