Xcel Energy Center scheduled to host major event in 2026

This marks the first time since 2005!



For the first time since 2005, the State of Hockey will play host to the IIHF World Junior Championships; a formal announcement is expected to be released this Friday.

“We’re blessed with a number of really first-rate hockey facilities, so we’ve got a lot of options here in Minnesota,” said Matt Meunier of Minnesota Sports and Events, in a 2023 interview with The Rink Live after he visited last year’s event, which was hosted by Canada in Halifax and Moncton, Nova Scotia. “It’s cool because it’s not just a metro area, Minneapolis-St. Paul event. We could stage pool play games or pre-tournament matches throughout the state.”

Among the other cities that were in the bidding for the event were Tampa Bay, Las Vegas and Seattle, the latter two of which have been the latest NHL success stories involving League expansion. 

Via the press release from FloHockey.TV

"Minneapolis and St. Paul co-hosted the 1982 World Junior Championship, the first ever WJC to be held in the United States. That was only the sixth year since the tournament became an IIHF-sponsored event. Canada won its first of its record 20 WJC gold medals that year.

The United States has hosted the World Junior Championship five times previously, with each of the last two held in Buffalo, N.Y. Grand Forks, N.D., and Thief River Falls, Minn., hosted in 2005, and Boston hosted in 1996.

World Juniors popularity has soared in the U.S. since 2010 when the Americans won their second ever World Junior gold medal. Team USA won bronze each of the last two times USA hosted the tournament. Team USA has also won gold in 2004, 2013, 2017 and 2021, in addition to the 2010 win.

As hosts, Team USA will be expected to play its games in Xcel Energy Center. The rest of the groups will be decided by the final standings from the 2025 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be contested in Ottawa, Ontario.

The 2024 World Juniors is about to head into the semifinals Thursday. The United States will play Finland, while host Sweden is set to take on Czechia. The winners of each game will move on to the gold-medal game on Friday."

Recommended articles: