The highlights of Russia’s national multimedia booth at an exhibition held as part the 16th Russia–Kazakhstan Interregional Cooperation Forum will include a model of the new ice arena, Arena Omsk. Organised by the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation and the Roscongress Foundation, the Forum will take place in Omsk on 6–7 November 2019.
The new Omsk Arena is scheduled for launch in 2022. The project is being implemented as a public-private partnership and is seen as a potential venue for the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship. The new Omsk Arena is a 6-storey building measuring 60,000 sq m and seating up to 12,000. The building will have a large outdoor media façade featuring an element of Avangard hockey club’s logo. The project design features a spacious lobby accommodating up to 1,500 people. On non-game days, it will be used for performances and other entertainment events. In addition, the building will accommodate the Cyber Arena, a unique venue for cybersport tournaments.
The new sports facility will contribute to the wider programme of renovating Omsk, as well as to help develop domestic tourism and attract investment into the region,” said the Omsk Region Governor Alexander Burkov. “The modern arena will create a comfortable environment for sporting events. But most importantly, our beloved Avangard will return to its home region once the Omsk Arena project is completed. The construction project is particularly important for bringing more children and young people into ice hockey, Russia’s national sport.”
The construction of the arena is also aligned with the federal project Sport as a Lifestyle, which is part of the wider ambitious national project Demography. Both programmes contribute to improved health of Russian citizens and, consequently, increased life expectancy and reduced mortality rates.
The concept of the new Omsk Arena was developed with involvement of the Omsk-based Avangard, which since 2012 has been implementing its interregional Avangard Academy social programme covering a vast area from the Urals to Siberia and creating a fundamentally new, modern system of training young hockey players, and national team players going forward.
Children are selected for professional training programmes at the Academy through the Popular Hockey social project: ice rinks are being constructed at Omsk’s public schools to provide free training opportunities with teaching coaches to primary school boys and girls. As of October 2019, over 1,800 schoolchildren were benefiting from training through these classes hosted by a total of 32 coaches. At the end of the 2018/2019 season, 16 most talented children were selected for training at the Avangard Ice Hockey Academy.
“Hockey is the most important and favourite sport in Omsk. It so happened that a year ago, Omsk residents were for some time left without their key hockey asset: Avangard team (KHL) had to move due to the disastrous state of the existing Arena. From the very first day when that happened, I kept saying that Avangard would definitely come back home: the club has become a symbol of our city and can only be based in Omsk,” said the Chairman of the Board at Avangard Club Company Alexander Krylov. “We are nearing the next stage of the team’s journey back home to reunite with home fans. In summer 2019, we first showed photos of the new Omsk Arena, and now we will showcase a high-quality 3D scale model of the stadium at the 16th Russia–Kazakhstan Interregional Cooperation Forum.”
Alexander Krylov also added that in the near future the 3D scale model will be presented to Omsk residents so that all hockey fans could see the new home of the Avangard team. A live link to the facility’s construction site is already available on the Arena Omsk official website.
Avangard maintains strong relations with Russian and foreign clubs, including in training young athletes. In particular, a game between minor ice hockey teams of 10-year olds representing Avangard (Russia) and Barys (Kazakhstan) hockey clubs will take place within the cultural programme of the 16th Russia–Kazakhstan Interregional Cooperation Forum. The game will be held at the Avangard Ice Hockey Academy’s new sports complex, which was sponsored by Gazprom Group under the Gazprom for Children programme.
The men’s team of Avangard (Omsk) uses the Balashikha sports complex (Moscow Region) as its temporary training grounds. Since August 2019, it has operated as a branch of the Avangard Ice Hockey Academy.