Edmonton bubble to host 2021 World Juniors
EDMONTON -- The 2021 World Juniors will be played in a bubble in Edmonton this winter.
Previously planned for both Edmonton and Red Deer, the International Ice Hockey Federation announced Thursday the World Junior Championship would be played at Rogers Place only — with no fans.
All teams and officials will stay within Ice District, similar to the NHL bubble that has hosted the playoffs and upcoming Stanley Cup Final.
"This is a tough decision to have to take, but ultimately we did not have a choice," said IIHF President René Fasel. "The health and safety of players, officials, and fans is our top priority. We were impressed with the presentation from the local organizing committee outlining how a potential 'bubble' scenario would operate within Edmonton, and we are confident that we can follow the NHL’s great example in creating a safe environment for teams to compete."
Fans who had purchased tickets will be refunded, IIHF said.
The tournament will be held in late December and early January.
To make it up for Canadian hockey fans and to make money from ticket sales, Edmonton and Red Deer will host the 2022 World Junior Championship with the expectation that people will be able to attend games.
Next year's games were scheduled to take place in Gotherburg, Sweden. They will now host in 2024.
Earlier on Thursday, the IIHF announced that all lower division tournaments in the men’s U20 category will be cancelled, as well as the 2021 U18 Women’s World Championship and all other U18 women's tournaments.