List of IIHF World Championships by attendance

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A list of the top 30 most attended IIHF World Championships (out of 76 total). The 2014 tournament, in Belarus, holds the record for overall attendance. The record for the most average spectators per game was set during the 1985 event hosted by the then Czechoslovakia.[1] Not included are the Olympic tournaments, which though they are run as an IIHF tournament, have been separate from the World Championships since 1972.
Despite reluctance in some circles to have such a tournament in Olympic years, the three most attended World Championships overall have taken place on years that coincided with the holding of a best-on-best tournament, either the Olympics (2010 and 2014) or the World Cup of Hockey (2004).

It should be considered that because of a changing pool-size of teams through the years, the number of games contested at the IIHF World Championships can range from 32 in 1979 to 64 in 2012 and beyond, therefore "attendance per game" is an equally important statistic to measure the success of a given tournament. Seven tournaments have had averages over 9,000 spectators per game, and two have topped the 10,000 mark.
In an effort to broaden the sport's appeal, the number of top division teams was also increased from a mere 8 (as late as 1991) to 16 (starting in 1998), leading to an influx of lesser teams that could negatively impact average attendance. To combat this, some organizers have aggressively pushed the sale of day passes that bundle popular games with less sought-after ones.

There are two countries with four of the top 30 most attended tournaments; Sweden and Finland, and four countries with three of the top 30 most attended tournaments; Austria, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland and Germany. There are 13 separate nations who have hosted the championships at least once, and are represented on the top 30.

List[edit]

Rank Year Host country Total attendance Number of games Attendance per game
1. 2014 Belarus Belarus 643,434 64 10,054
2. 2004 Czech Republic Czech Republic 552,097 56 9,858
3. 2010 Germany Germany 548,768 56 9,799
4. 1997 Finland Finland 504,943 52 9,710
5. 2008 Canada Canada 477,040 54 8,834
6. 2003 Finland Finland 454,693 56 8,119
7. 2012 Finland Finland and Sweden Sweden 451,054 64 7,048
8. 2013 Sweden Sweden* and Finland Finland 427,818 64 6,685
9. 2001 Germany Germany 407,547 56 7,277
10. 2011 Slovakia Slovakia 406,804 56 7,264
11. 1989 Sweden Sweden 388,190 40 9,704
12. 2009 Switzerland Switzerland 379,044 56 6,768
13. 1986 Soviet Union USSR* 362,710 40 9,067
14. 2007 Russia Russia 330,708 56 5,905
15. 1985[2] Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia* 411,555 40 10,289
16. 1995 Sweden Sweden 325,571 40 8,139
17. 2006 Latvia Latvia 324,794 56 5,799
18. 2005 Austria Austria 323,974 56 5,785
19. 2000 Russia Russia 318,449 56 5,686
20. 1991 Finland Finland 310,627 40 7,765
21. 2002 Sweden Sweden 305,541 56 5,456
22. 1978 Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia 248,920 40 6,223
23. 1992 Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia 246,173 39 6,312
24. 1979 Soviet Union USSR* 244,819 32 7,650
25. 1990 Switzerland Switzerland 236,150 40 5,903
26. 1998 Switzerland Switzerland 231,748 49 5,903
27. 1993 Germany Germany 224,892 41 5,485
28. 1981 Sweden Sweden 221,515 32 6,922
29. 1987 Austria Austria 216,125 40 5,403
30. 1983 Germany West Germany 211,523 40 5,288
31. 1982 Finland Finland 208,910 34 6,144
32. 1996 Austria Austria 186,830 40 4,670
* = indicates teams who won the championship as hosts

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