Washington DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he has urged the International Ice Hockey Federation to select Pittsburgh as the host site for the 2018 World Junior Hockey Championship. The city is currently in the running and a final decision could come soon. In a letter to the organization’s President, René Fasel, Casey cited the city’s success in hosting major events and the region’s rich hockey history in making the case for Pittsburgh.
“With all due respect to Detroit, Pittsburgh really is America’s hockey capital. Selecting Pittsburgh would be good for the city and the tournament. The opportunity to play in front of some of the nation’s most enthusiastic hockey fans will only add to the tournament,” Senator Casey said.
“Pittsburgh has a successful record of hosting major events. Adding the 2018 World Juniors to the city’s roster of major events would contribute to the revitalization occurring in Pittsburgh and throughout the region.”
The full text of Casey’s letter can be seen below:
Dear Mr. Fasel:
I write today to urge the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) to strongly consider Pittsburgh as the host city for the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Junior Hockey Championship. The City of Pittsburgh, known as the “City of Champions,” would make an excellent host city for this prestigious sporting event.
Since the late 1800s, when the first indoor ice skating rink was opened and ice hockey was introduced to the city, the sport has remained deeply engrained in Pittsburgh’s culture and traditions. The Pittsburgh Penguins have won three Stanley Cups since joining the National Hockey League (NHL) in 1967, and in 2013, Nielsen awarded Penguins fans the distinction of Best Local Fan Base in the NHL.
Pittsburgh is well equipped to host an event of the IIHF World Junior Championships size. The City has successfully hosted the G-20 Summit, Major League Baseball's All-Star Game, the NHL's Winter Classic, the NHL Entry Draft, and the NCAA basketball tournament. The CONSOL Energy Center was the first environmentally friendly, LEED-certified hockey arena in the National Hockey League. In addition to hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins, it was the host venue for the highly successful NCAA’s 2013 Men’s Ice Hockey Championships Frozen Four. Visitors also have access to the North Shore Connector, which offers free subway transportation from downtown Pittsburgh to world-class attractions like the National Aviary and the Andy Warhol Museum. Lastly, the city has tens of thousands of hotel rooms both within the city and the larger Allegheny County to support the influx of visitors for the event.
With Pittsburgh’s love and support of hockey and its infrastructural capabilities, I believe it would make a great host city for the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championships. Thank you for the consideration of my views. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly or have your staff contact my office.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator