Croatian Hockey Team Will Play Two Outdoor Games This Weekend In An Ancient Roman Amphitheater (Video)

hockey at pula croatia roman amphitheater


You know how the NHL and its various media partners are always referring to hockey players as warriors or gladiators battling for supremacy?

Well, some folks over in Pula, Croatia, had a great idea when they thought to themselves, “let’s have these so-called gladiators compete in an appropriate venue.”  So this weekend, there will be two outdoor hockey games at the Pula Arena—the town’s ancient Roman amphitheater.

That’s right!  Hockey in an ancient Roman coliseum where real gladiators used to do battle. Does it get any more awesome than that?

Of course, the NHL has their annual “Winter Classic” game. And usually the venue for that is pretty cool. But an ancient Roman amphitheater? Not even Wrigley Field can compete with that!

The spectacle is the brainchild of hockey club Medvescak Zagreb of the Austria-based Erste Bank Eishockey Liga. Founded in 1961, they became the first (and to date, the only) Croatian team to join EBEL in 2009 and have led the league in attendence ever since. In fact, last year they averaged 8,835 fans per game, which was the 12th highest average for any European hockey team—and in a country that has just 437 hockey players registered with the IIHF. So obviously, the people running Medvescak know how to drum up interest in their club. And these outdoor hockey games are just their latest brilliant idea.

The ancient arena will have a capacity of 7,022 fans for the two games. The first, to be played Friday, is between Medvescak and Olimpija Ljubljana—Slovenia’s only club in the EBEL. The second game, to be played on Sunday, is between Medvescak and the Vienna Capitals.

Here’s the promotional video put together by Medvescak for the event. Check it out:

Hat Tip via Loyal reader Adam Mirra – [The Score]

Tags: austrian hockey leage, EBEL, hockey, NHL, Winter Classic,