“I, as a lawyer was involved in the project of bringing the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) to Poprad [Prešov Region], I am now urging the state to help keep the HC Lev Poprad ice hockey team in this league,” Slovak National Party (SNS) vice-chairman and mayor of Poprad Andrej Danko told a press conference on Tuesday, February 21.
Danko said, as quoted by the TASR newswire, that when it comes to the state's interests, promoting Slovakia via one of its teams playing in the KHL is on a par with attracting a foreign investor to build a factory in Slovakia. "You just can't express in figures how Poprad has been promoted," he said. Thanks to Poprad playing in the league, top businessmen from Russia who are capable of making large-scale investments have travelled to Slovakia, he claimed. Danko urged those in power to hold talks with KHL representatives and the team's owners on possible state incentives such as tax relief. A number of the team's employees have been dismissed recently, which has added to speculation that the team is set to move to Prague.
HC Lev Poprad is currently the only Slovak ice hockey club to participate in the KHL, regarded as the second most prestigious ice hockey league in the world after the NHL.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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