World Championship Ice Hockey Boosts Dumfries and Galloway Economy

The Great Britain Men’s Under 20s Ice Hockey team came within minutes of winning the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Gold Medal at the Group II Division A World Championship, held at the Ice Bowl last week.

Big crowds flocked to the Ice Bowl to cheer on the national team, with the council putting in place very reasonable ticket prices to attract existing and new fans to the sport. Ice Hockey UK report that the World Championship secured more than 100,000 viewers over the week of the event to their streaming service.

With less than seven minutes left of their final fixture against Korea, played on Sunday the 17 December, Britain were winning 3-2 and heading for the Gold Medal and promotion. They lost two devasting late goals, and Korea instead leapfrogged the home nation to secure the tournament. It was a bitter disappointment for Great Britain who played exceptionally well all week.

The council estimate that this World Championship will have generated more than £250,000 to the regional economy. The income to local business and accommodation providers comes from the teams and officials expenditure in local hotels, the money spent in the local economy from hundreds of supporters who descended on Dumfries and the services such as coach hires and catering needed to deliver the event.

Councillor Ian Blake, Chair of the council’s Communities Committee said: “The Ice Bowl hosted a well-managed, sporting and exciting International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship. The council’s skilled, knowledgeable and good humoured staff have helped sports and economic development for the area and created a very good impression of Dumfries for the many participants and spectators of this tournament.”
Andy French, the General Secretary of Ice Hockey UK, who managed the World Championship in partnership with the council and the International Ice Hockey Federation said: “Ice Hockey UK are really pleased with how well things have gone in Dumfries since the Korean team arrived in the town on Monday 4 December. I’d like to thank all of the officials, volunteers and the staff of Dumfries and Galloway Council for their contribution to a fantastic Ice Hockey World Championship.”
Councillor Jackie McCamon, the Vice Chair of the Communities Committee said: “Dumfries Ice Bowl continues to be an important sporting and economic hub for Dumfries and the wider region. It has proved time and again that it is a reliable venue for ice hockey, ice-dancing and curling tournaments and the council’s Events Strategy 2023–2027 is clearly helping to attract and sustain many international quality events for Dumfries and Galloway.”

Dumfries Ice Bowl regularly holds official International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championship groups – it is the only venue in Scotland that has a recent history of doing so.

The tournaments are held in partnership between the IIHF, Ice Hockey UK and Dumfries and Galloway Council.

World Championship Ice Hockey tournaments are designated as ‘Signature Events’ of the Council’s Events Strategies – the current events strategy covers 2023-2027 and is being fully delivered with an annual budget of £275,000.

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