Sunday, 20 April 2014

Ostrava wants to be European city of sports 2014

ČTK |
22 November 2012

Ostrava, Nov 21 (CTK) - The north Moravian centre Ostrava seeks the title of European City of Sports 2014, deputy mayor Martin Stepanek told journalists Wednesday, adding that the title would raise Ostrava's publicity and boost sports and tourism.

The title is presented by the European Capital of Sports Association linked to the EU. The Czech city that holds it this year is Liberec, north Bohemia.

"Now we're drafting an application and our project that we want to submit to the European Parliament in January," Stepanek said.

The result of the competition is to be known in late 2013.

To succeed, Ostrava, a city with 299,600 inhabitants, needs to raise the number of sport events it hosts, including traditional ones but also some championships, Stepanek said.

He said Ostrava wants to host the 2015 world ice hockey championships along with Prague. The city council has already approved a cooperation memorandum in this respect with the Moravia-Silesia region and the Czech Ice-Hockey Association (CSLH).

"We also plan a number of sport activities that will attract the public," Stepanek said.

Stepanek said Ostrava has a good reputation in Europe as a venue of significant sport events such as the Golden Spike international athletic meeting, the Davis Cup and other European and world championships.

Ostrava can offer a number of sport places. It plans to build a new athletic hall worth about 290 million crowns by the autumn of 2014, Stepanek said.

Two variants for the May 1-17, 2015 world ice-hockey championship venue have been considered so far, either Prague and Ostrava or Prague and the Slovak capital Bratislava.

Stepanek said a definitive decision may be made in a few weeks.

World hockey cup games were played in Ostrava in 2004 last time, when the local CEZ arena and an adjacent hotel underwent a thorough reconstruction. Hosting the 2015 cup would not be that expensive, Stepanek said Wednesday.

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