The Gazprom Neft Cup KHL International Kids Hockey Tournament is one of the most significant children’s hockey competitions bringing together teams of children aged up to 11. In 2010, the competition was brought under the aegis of the KHL and since 2012, the tournament has held international status.
In 2016, the 10th anniversary Gazprom Neft Cup will be held in two cities: the East Group playing by tradition in the Omsk Arena in Omsk, and the West Group playing for the first time in the Olympic host city of Sochi, in two arenas, the Bolshoi Ice Dome and the Iceberg Skating Palace. The tournament will include 26 teams from five European countries (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Latvia, and Finland).
West Group (Sochi):
Vityaz (Moscow region), Dinamo (Minsk), Dynamo (Moscow), Dinamo (Riga), Jokerit (Helsinki), Lada (Samara region), Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl), Severstal (Cherepovets), SKA (St Petersburg), Spartak (Moscow), Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod), CSKA (Moscow), and Yamal (Salekhard).
East Group (Omsk):
Avangard (Omsk region), Avtomobilist (Yekaterinburg), Ak Bars (Kazan), Amur (Khabarovsk), Barys (Astana), Metallurg (Magnitogorsk), Metallurg (Novokuznetsk), Neftekhimik (Nizhnekamsk), Rubin (Tyumen), Salavat Yulaev (Ufa), Sibir (Novosibirsk), Traktor (Chelyabinsk), and Yugra (Khanty-Mansiysk).
As always, all major expenses for conducting the tournament, including room and board for the teams, transportation, organising the opening and closing shows, holding the games, advertising and media coverage, the prize fund and souvenirs, holding training seminars for coaches and an excursion program for the teams is completely paid for by the company Gazprom Neft.
The level of organization of the Gazprom Neft Cup is unprecedented for a children’s tournament: the games are managed by professional KHL referees and played on ice arenas certified for KHL matches, the tournament action is covered by leading sports media. The ultimate trophy of tournament (the Gazprom Neft Cup) is produced by the same craftsmen as the Gagarin Cup (the most important hockey trophy in Russia). Every year, following completion of the tournament, the name of the winning team is engraved on the cup and retained by the new champions until the next tournament. Cup holders in the years since the Gazprom Neft Cup received its status as the official KHL children’s tournament have been Avangard (2010), Ak Bars (2011), Traktor (2012), CSKA (2013, 2014), and Dynamo (Moscow) (2015).
The multimedia opening show is on a level with shows opening leading KHL club games. The opening ceremony and the Super Final of the tournament are broadcast live on KHL-TV. The tournament’s official partners include the leading Russian sports channel Match TV, the European Media Group broadcasting holding, the Internet site Championat.com, and Sport-Express newspaper.