ARENA ICE FEVER Pula MMIXX

The city of Pula in Croatia will play host to a momentous ice hockey event this coming weekend.

Constructed between 27 BC and 68 AD, the Roman Colosseum will host two ice hockey matches, both involving KHL Medvescak Zagreb. Remarkably four side towers and three Roman architectural orders are all still preserved although much work is having to be done to get it ready to host ice hockey for the first time.

Here are some statistics to put that into perspective:

Rink Dimensions in meters 57×26.
6-8, Ice thickness in Centimeters.
15,000 litres of Glycol required to cool the ice
30,000 litres of water taken from a well below Pula will be used to freeze the ice on the rink.
The temperature of the ice will be -12C.
Up to 1800 Square metres of Special foil to cover the ice during the day.

Let’s not also forget this is still summer in Croatia and the temperature could reach anything up to 30 Celsius over the weekend.

The arena will be able to accommodate 7,022 spectators for each of the two games and the stands will have names in true Roman fashion such as
Tribuna Moderna, Tribuna Antiqua, Tribuna Histria or for the well-off Circo Imperium and Circo Senatus.

Tickets for fans have been kept at pretty reasonable prices (€25-83/£20-£66/C$35-105)  despite this historic occasion.

There will also be a fan zone “Circus Maximus” nearby the arena offering ports competitions, music and entertainment to the public. Also on the evening between the two games fans have the chance to skate on the
ice at the historic venue with the Medvescak players. That would never happen in the NHL Outdoor classic game!

Medvescak who are the best team in Croatia, play in the EBEL league and drew an average attendance of 8,835 last season, 12th most in Europe. Made all more remarkable when you consider they only joined the Austria-based EBEL league in the 2009/2010 season and play in a country of just 437 registered hockey players.

This won’t be the first time Medvescak have played outside games but this is certainly a step up by this forward thinking club. I believe a lot of teams in Europe and across the world could learn a thing or two from them.

On 14th September Medvescak Zagreb will host Olimpija Ljubljana.
The team from the Slovenian capital is actually closer to Pula, 200 kilometres north of the city. Two days later the opposition will be Vienna Capitals, who have only won the EBEL once, back in 2005.

If you’d like to find out more about Medvescak Zagreb you can find their website here http://www.medvescak.com/hrv/index.html and yes it can be translated to English! Details for the EBEL can be found here http://www.erstebankliga.at/de/

Lastly please check out the promo video for this event. It’ll give you a better idea of how damn cool this is going to be!  I for one wish I was able to attend.

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