Košice city council officials and representatives of hotels in the city expressed their satisfaction on May 16 with the 2011 Ice Hockey World Championships which were held in Bratislava and Košice between April 29 and May 15.
Eastern Slovakia's biggest city was visited by thousands of foreign visitors during the tournament, with city spokesperson Martina Viktorinová, initially estimating that it was about 5,000 foreign visitors. "Hotel occupancy rates in the city reached around 95 percent, with most of the tourists coming from Austria and Switzerland before May 4, and mainly Swedes checking in later," Viktorinová told TASR.
The city said the biggest benefit of the tournament from its perspective was the fact that more than 600 million TV viewers around the world saw Košice on their TV screens.
"We took it as an opportunity to make Košice visible before 2013, the year in which the city becomes the European Capital of Culture," said Viktorinová.
The city experienced the tournament not only in the Steel Arena, but also in two “city fan zones” – one on Hlavná (Main) Street and the other on the premises of the amphitheatre in the borough of Sever. The fan zones were teeming with fans especially during matches in which the Slovak team was playing, normally with crowds of more than 10,000 attending.
The city council stated that it had no reports of any disturbances during the tournament. "Two cases of pick pocketing were dealt with on Hlavná Street," said Viktorinová. Only a few of the matches played at the Steel Arena were sold out but no match saw less than 50 percent of the seats sold. The average attendance was slightly over 60 percent, said officials. A total of as many as 115,000 people came to see matches at the stadium.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
17. May 2011 at 14:00