COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Mohawk Valley Garden and the city of Utica, New York, have been selected to host the 2024 IIHF Women’s World Championship which was announced today by USA Hockey.
The event, tentatively slated for April 4-14, 2024, will include 31 games and feature the top women’s hockey players from across the world. Host venues for the 10-team tournament will include the Adirondack Bank Center and Utica University Nexus Center.
Ticket information and the final tournament schedule will be announced in the coming months.
“We’re thrilled to have the IIHF Women’s World Championship back in the U.S. and could not be more excited to bring the event to Utica,” said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey. “The leadership of the Mohawk Valley Garden group, led by Robert Esche, in partnering with us, and the support from the State of New York, Oneida County, Turning Stone Resort and the city of Utica has been fantastic. It's not often we get to host world championships in the U.S. and we know fans will enjoy the opportunity to see the best women's hockey players in the world in person next April.”
FIFTH TIME IN U.S.
The U.S. has hosted the IIHF Women’s World Championship on four previous occasions, the last time in 2017 in Plymouth, Michigan, at USA Hockey Arena where Team USA took home gold on home soil for the first time ever. Other host cities have included Burlington, Vermont (2012), Minneapolis (2001) and Lake Placid, New York (1994).
THEY SAID IT
“Hosting an event as prestigious as the IIHF Women’s World Championship is truly an honor, and marks another milestone for the Utica University Nexus Center and Adirondack Bank Center as we continue to grow and build on the sports repertoire in the City of Utica,” said Robert Esche, president of Mohawk Valley Garden, who played eight seasons in the NHL and was also a member of the 2006 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team. “We are very lucky to be able to showcase the highest level of women’s hockey in the world and look forward to partnering with USA Hockey to create the best experience possible.”
"We are confident that Utica will be an excellent host," said Luc Tardif, president of the International Ice Hockey Federation. "It is always a positive to have someone like Robert (Esche), who played on U.S. National Teams and also played in the NHL, involved as he brings a unique perspective that will contribute to what we know will be a great Women's Worlds."
“It’s awesome to have the Women’s Worlds back in our country again,” said Katie Million, director of women’s national team programs for USA Hockey, “I know fans will enjoy the talent they’ll see on the ice and hopefully we’ll be able to celebrate a second straight gold medal on home soil next April.”
“The enthusiasm and commitment we’ve received in Utica has been terrific,” said Tony Driscoll, assistant executive director of marketing, communications and events for USA Hockey. “There’s a lot of work in front of us to ensure this is the best possible experience for the teams, fans and everyone involved, and we’re most thankful to have the partnerships in place to make this the best world championship we've hosted.”
HISTORY OF THE EVENT
The IIHF Women’s World Championship was first staged in 1990 and has been played 22 times since its inception, including 2023. The U.S. has earned nine gold medals in the event (2019, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2005) and 12 silver medals (2022, 2021, 2012, 2007, 2004, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1997, 1994, 1992, 1990) and is the only team to play in every gold-medal game conducted.
The historic Adirondack Bank Center, nicknamed the Aud, is home of the Utica Comets, the AHL affiliate of the New Jersey Devils. In 2011 it was designated as a National Historic Civic Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers in recognition of its innovative cable-suspended roof. The Utica University Nexus Center, which opened in 2022, is home of the Utica University women’s ice hockey team, and contains three ice surfaces. The two facilities are adjacent and connected by a walkway.
Located on the Mohawk River at the foot of the Adirondack Mountains, Utica is the 10th largest city in the state of New York. It is home to the AHL’s Utica Comets and also to 900 acres of city parks, the internationally recognized Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, and the century-old Utica Zoo.
THE TOURNAMENT FORMAT
The 2024 IIHF Women’s World Championship will include the top 10 teams in the world. The teams will be split into two groups of five, and each team will play the other four teams in its group in a preliminary round. The teams will be seeded following the preliminary round with the top eight teams advancing to the quarterfinals. The winning quarterfinal teams will play in the semifinal round with the bronze and gold-medal games concluding the tournament on April 14.