Swedish bandy final moves indoors!
The Swedish bandy final is one of the most traditional sporting events in Sweden. The final is decided in a single match mostly in front of 15,000-25,000 spectators. This has been the case for decades. This concept has made the bandy final unique. No one has dared to change the conditions to play in front of a much smaller audience – until now. The Swedish Bandy Association has tried indoor games a few times in large arenas in Stockholm. For example, in Friends arena, which seats 50,000 spectators. It also broke the attendance record of all time for the bandy final in Sweden when Sandvikens AIK/BK and Hammarby IF met in 2013 in front of 38,474 people.
But now the Swedish Bandy Association has made the decision that Västerås will be the host city for the Swedish finals in 2024. On March 15-16 the women’s, men’s and youth finals will be held in ABB Arena Syd with an audience capacity of approximately 8000.
– The Championship final is the big flagship in Swedish bandy and Västerås is a fantastic bandy city that creates good conditions, says Gisela Stockhaus, chairman of the Swedish Bandy Association on SBF Website.
– We have conducted several surveys and dialogue meetings to understand how we need to develop the event. The choice of Västerås is, among other things, that we can now create more activities and surrounding events and that the youth finals can be played in connection with the senior finals, which has been a strong request from bandy Sweden, concludes Gisela Stockhaus.
But the decision have already started a discussion among bandy people in Sweden. Some argue that this is the first step towards a change of the unique final and that it will not be long before it is played in best of 5 or 7 final games like in ice hockey. It does not seem important to play in an arena that can accommodate 20,000-30,000 spectators, says criticizing voices. But many are also positive that there will now be finals with the best conditions. The warm weather in March has been a constant scourge for the finals outdoor.