As part of the preparations for the IX Gazprom Neft Cup, the biggest children’s hockey tournament in Europe, the event’s organizing committee traveled to Saint Petersburg, one of the joint host cities, for a meeting attended by representatives of the city authorities, the Gazprom Neft company, the Kontinental Hockey League, HC Avangard and HC SKA.
The committee decided that the 2015 tournament will run from the 24th to the 29th of April and confirmed the proposed format, with Group West in Saint Petersburg and Group East in Omsk. The Super Final and the Group East final will take place at the Arena Omsk, with some group games played at the city’s Avangard Arena, while in Petersburg the Ice Palace will host the decider in Group West, with some games hosted at the Yubileyny Palace of Sport. The opening game, the group finals and the Super Final are expected to be broadcast live on the KHL TV channel.
Pavel Belov, Deputy Chairman of the St. Petersburg Committee for Physical Culture and Sports, said that the city government has offered all the necessary communications and organizational support for the Gazprom Neft Cup.
The Committee confirmed that the Group West winners will be provided with a charter flight from St. Petersburg to Omsk for the April 29 Super Final.
KHL Hockey Operations Vice-president Dmitry Kurbatov announced that many hockey stars, past and present, will participate in the opening and closing ceremonies, and SKA Vice-President Roman Rotenberg confirmed the St. Petersburg club’s readiness to provide comprehensive assistance in all communication and organizational aspects of staging the event.
Alexander Dybal, Gazprom Neft board member and chairman of the tournament’s organizing committee, summed up the positive mood at the meeting: "In 2015, for the very first time, we will see Gazprom Neft Cup games played in St. Petersburg – a city where they really love and appreciate hockey. Considering the recent record attendances at SKA’s home games, coupled with the high standard of organization at the club, we are confident that the tournament will capture the attention of fans in the city. And we at Gazprom Neft, working together with SKA, will do all we can to ensure that those fans see a top-class spectacle, both at the opening game and at the Group West final. The energy and professionalism shown by the St. Petersburg club’s management gives us every reason to hope that the event will meet the highest standards, just as we are sure that the high quality of organization for the Group East games and Super Final will once again confirm Omsk’s status as one of the hockey capitals of Russia."