RIGA - Riga hopes for the arrival of over 30,000 ice hockey fans during the Ice Hockey World Championships, which begin today, LETA was informed by the Riga City Council's communications department.
Riga is co-hosting the tournament with the Finnish city of Tampere, and will host Group B. A total of 30 ice hockey matches will be held in the Latvian capital from today until May 25. The semifinals and medal matches will be played in Tampere.
In Riga, hockey fans are welcomed with a thematic design of the urban environment dedicated to the championship. The streets of the city are decorated with the symbols of the championship, as well as structures and big stands with the flags of the countries competing in the Ice Hockey World Championships are in place.
Figures of the championship's main mascot Spiky have also been placed in the urban environment. Passengers are transported through the streets of Riga by the We Live The Game tram designed specially for the World Championships, which runs on the route Jugla - Imanta.
The tournament can also be viewed at the official fan zone of the Ice Hockey World Championships, which will be located on Skanstes street 21, on the territory of Arena Riga. Entry to the fan zone is also allowed without tickets to the matches.
While the tournament will take place, during the course of a pilot project, it will be allowed to place portable beverage machines and television screens in outdoor cafes. It will also be possible to watch the games inside cafes and bars.
A special guidebook about Riga has also been created for visitors.
"Such a large-scale sporting event for the city and our businesses also means a significant economic contribution, as well as promotes Riga and Latvia in the world,'' Riga Mayor Martins Stakis points out.