By Duncan Mackay

Denmark ice hockeyMarch 1 - Denmark and Latvia today officially presented its joint bid for the 2017 World Ice Hockey Championships.

The bid team from the Danish Ice Hockey Association (DIU) and the Latvian Ice Hockey Federation (LHF) outlined their plans to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Event Committee, chaired by Slovakia's Igor Nemecek, in Zurich.

Denmark, which has never hosted the Championships and Latvia, who staged them in 2006, are facing opposition from another joint bid, France and Germany.

The host is due to be chosen by the IIHF during its Annual Congress in Stockholm between May 16 and 19, which coincides with the World Championships being held in Sweden and Finland.

In the joint bid concept presented to the IIHF Event Committee, Denmark will be the main host and Latvia the co-host.

A state of the art multi arena, Copenhagen Arena, which is currently under construction and due to be completed by 2015, will host the finals and semi-finals as well as 30 preliminary matches.

Denmark would also play host to the IIHF Annual Congress that will be staged during the days of the finals in May 2017.

Copenhagen ArenaThe Copenhagen Arena, due for completion in 2015, would host the final if Denmark's joint bid to host the 2017 World Ice Hockey Championships with Latvia is successful

Latvia will host the rest of the preliminary matches and two quarter-finals in Arena Riga, which was built specially for the 2006 World Championships.

"Today, Denmark and Latvia have presented a very strong joint bid for the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship," said Henrik Bach Nielsen, President of the DIU.

"Our bid more than meets all criteria, with the most important factor being our two large multi arenas tailor-made for hockey at the highest level.

"Our event concept is based on outstanding facilities, a strong event organisation and a legacy plan that aims to further develop hockey in new markets."

The 2006 World Championships, the first time a former Soviet state apart from Russia has hosted the event, was won by Sweden, who beat the Czech Republic 4-0 in the final. 

"What we did in 2006, we will do again in 2017," said Kirovs Lipmans, the LHF President.

"Creating an unforgettable event for the global hockey fans in a passionate hockey nation."

Germany and France's bid envisions Cologne as the primary venue, with the secondary venue located at the Palais Omnisport Paris-Bercy Arena in the French capital.

Veltins Arena World Ice Hockey Championships 2010A world record crowd of 77,803 watched the opening match of the 2010 World Ice Hockey Championships at the Veltins Arena

Germany staged the 2010 Championship alone, when a world record crowd of 77,803 watched the opening match in Gelsenkirchen at Bundesliga football club Schalke 04's Veltins Arena, which saw the hosts beat the United States 3-2 in overtime.

France last staged the event in 1968 when that year's Winter Olympics was classed as the World Championship.

"From our side, hosting the World Championship is a part of the development strategy for France," said French Ice Hockey Federation general secretary Eric Ropert.

"We thought that we wouldn't be able to do it alone, after all the last time we hosted the World Championship was in 1951.

"We have an excellent working relationship with Germany, and we can benefit from the experience that they had hosting the World Championship in 2010."

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November 2012: Denmark and Latvia launch joint bid for 2017 Ice Hockey World Championships