Developing World-Class Hockey Industry
(Published December 16, 2006)
A number of new ice arenas have been
built within Moscowís boundaries within just the last 6 years. Many
foreigners still think that Moscow region is same as Moscow city. In
fact, there is a big difference between the two separate territorial
divisions. The Moscow region comprises dozens of towns with a population
of over 150-170 000 and 50-70 000 people including the megalopolis of
Moscow with its population of 10,500,000. The total population of the
is estimated to be approximately 6,596,600 people without Moscow city by
In 1999, the Moscow region had only 2
ice arenas with artificial ice: one in Elektrostal town 58 kilometers
away from Moscow and one in the hockey town of Voskresensk 80 kilometers
distance which is known as the place that produced the biggest number of
NHL Stanley Cup winners: Igor Larionov in 1997, 1998 and 2002 with
Detroit, Valery Kamensky in 1996 with Colorado, Vyacheslav Kozlov 1997
and 1998 with Detroit, and Valery Zelepukin in 1995 with the New Jersey
Currently, the Moscow region has 11
newly built ice arenas and some that have undergone massive
reconstruction to match the best world standards.
In 2000, the Ice Palace Vityaz opened
in Podolsk town, which is just 38 kilometers away from Moscow cityís
ring road. Itís a versatile sports complex for many kinds of sports with
a capacity of 4,670 spectators. Also nearby is a practice rink with nice
buffet where the players may have snacks. It was twice the successful
home ice for international competitions U-17 Four Nations tournaments:
in 2003 for 1986-born players and in 2005 for 1989 kids officially
controlled by IIHF.
In 2001, a new Ice Palace was launched
in Odintsovo town, which is 24 kilometers away and approximately 30
minutes driving distance from Moscow. This Odintsovo Ice Arena became
the practice rink for the Russian National team in hockey and many
In 2003, a new
Ice Palace Olympyski was opened in Chekhov town which is 77
kilometers to the south of Moscow. It has a capacity 3,000 with a VIP
lounge for 63 people and nice buffet at the hall of arena. Itís the home
arena of the Russian league team VITAYAZ Chekhov.
Also in 2003, a new arena was build in
Dmitrov town, which is 67 kilometers away from the capital of Russia.
Its new Ice Arena seats 2,000. Itís a modern
Sports Complex with practice rink, restaurants and bar for the
hockey fans. This Ice Arena became home to the HC Dmitrov hockey club
playing in Division I league of Russia.
In Klin, which is about 89 kilometers
from Moscow, 2 Ice Arenas have been built.
constructed in 2003 and was named for the great Soviet player
Valeri Kharlamov. In 2005, the town decided to have its own hockey club
at a professional level. The HC Klin club made its debut in Division I
league of Russia for the 2006-07 season. It became so popular among
hockey players and fans that deficit of ice time was noticed very soon.
The Moscow region government made the decision to build one more ice
arena with artificial ice.
In 2004, the old Ice Palace of the
world-known hockey team Voskresensk Khimik underwent a renovation for
the first time since it was built in 1953. Now the new Ice Arena has
been renamed Podmoskovye after the Moscow region territory where itís
based and boasts bigger capacity of 4,500 seats.
In 2005, the excellent
Ice Arena Captain in Stupino town, just 110 kilometers away
from Moscow, was opened. With a capacity of 1,500 people. It opened
right before the 2006 World Junior Championships successful place of
important IIHF 4-nations tournament for juniors Under-20 category in
In 2006, one of the best Ice Arenas in
Russia was opened in Mytischi town, which is just outside Moscow. Its
3-story Sports Complex which has stretching capacity from 7,000
seats to 9,000. The
Mytischi Ice Arena became the home for the Russian professional
league team Podmoskovye Mytischi. The town was the scene of the
important IIHF Five Nations tournament for juniors Under-18 category in
February 2006. Then it won a contest alongside Moscow to become the host
of 2007 World Senior Championships in ice hockey.
In Zelenograd, 50 kilometers away from
Moscow, in Mozhaysk, 110 kilometers away, and in Lukhovitsy, 130
kilometers away, new ice arenas were opened as well.
In 2007, the town of Balashikha, which
is just outside Moscow ring road, is supposed to complete its new
versatile Ice Arena with a capacity of 6,000 seats, VIP zones, practice
rink etc. This new Ice Arena will become the home of the Russian league
team HC MVD sponsored by Russian police and which is currently sharing
the ice in Podolsk with the junior team Vityaz.
During 2001-2005, hockey schools in
Mozhaysky, Stupinsky, Chkhovsky, Klinsky, Dmitrovsky, Mytishinsky and
Zaraysky districts of Moscow region started up. In 2001, just 11,160
young players were involved in hockey within the region, but by 2005 the
number was 14,928.
Plans also call for building more than
100 open air skating rinks in the backyards of schools and universities
each year. Annual stipends will be awarded to the 15 most talented
players of the districts. According to the Chairman of Moscow region
committee in charge of Physical Culture and Sports, Sergei Pernikov,
ideas of a hockey development program in the region would be included in
a special Moscow regionís governmental program until 2015.
The region has two top professional
Russian league clubs Mytishi Podmoskovye and HC MVD alongside five
Division I league teams in Voskresensk, Dmitrov, Klin, Elektrostal and
Stupino. You canít find in Russia any region with 7 hockey teams in such
good condition to develop its young players into the worldís best
talents. These absolutely astounding results in the last 7 years of
hockey development in the region around Moscow where, disappearance of
professional league teams Spartak and Krylia and the former Soviets
standing on the verge of poverty and relying on rented arenas, canít but
deserve the utmost respect of the local population to its Governor Boris
WELCOME to Russia:
site of the 2007
World Senior Championships in Ice Hockey.