By Andrew Podnieks – IIHF.com
The IIHF and USA Hockey today announced that next year’s IIHF Women’s World Championship will be played in Utica, New York. Two venues will be used for the 31 games—the Adirondack Bank Center and Utica University Nexus Center—and the tentative dates are 4-14 April, 2024.
“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, Turning Stone Resort, and the city of Utica has been fantastic. We know fans will enjoy the opportunity to see the best women’s hockey players in the world in person next April.”
“We are confident that Utica will be an excellent host,” said Luc Tardif, president of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). “It is always a positive to have someone like Robert [Esche] involved, who played on U.S. National Teams and also played in the NHL, as he brings a unique perspective that will contribute to what we know will be a great Women’s Worlds.”
“Hosting an event as prestigious as the 2024 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 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.”
The U.S. has hosted the IIHF Women’s World Championship four times, most recently in 2017 in Plymouth, Michigan, at USA Hockey Arena. The Americans won gold that year on a Hilary Knight goal in overtime against arch-rivals Canada. Canada won gold in 2012 in Burlington, Vermont, as well as 1994 in Lake Placid, New York.
The historic Adirondack Bank Center, nicknamed the Aud, is home to 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, opened in 2022, is home of the Utica University women’s ice hockey team, and contains three ice surfaces. The two facilities are connected by a walkway.
Utica is about one hour due east of Syracuse, New York, and about three hours south of Kingston, Ontario.