Playing in a 2000 year-old arena

Playing in a 2000 year-old arena

19 Jun 2012 | Vicko Ivankovic
 

Croatian club KHL Medveščak enters it's 4th season in EBEL. After successful projects in last seasons like Arena Ice Fever and Šalata Winter Classic they go a step further. In September they will play two games in an ancient Roman amphitheater in the city of Pula called Arena Pula.

 
 
 
 
When the rumour about this first went public it wasn't likely that the project will get to life. Especially because Pula is located on the seashore of Istra peninsula where weather in summer months is very hot which makes installation of outdoor ice rink very hard and complicated. Hockey in Pula doesn't exist except for inline hockey club that competes in national league. But still, there's no doubt that both games will be sell out because Medveščak is very popular in this part of the country.

The first game will be played on September 14th against Olimpija from Ljubljana while the second one will be played against Vienna Capitals on September 19th and both games will be transmissioned in Croatia, Austria and Slovenia and pictures from these games will travel all around the world because this is really a unique project in the world of hockey.

- This project is what I was talking about for a long time and that's tourist promotion of Croatia through sport. I'm sure that pictures from Arena Pula will travel through the world. It's also important for promotion of hockey in other parts of Croatia beside Zagreb. It will be very nice to watch hockey in Arena because it's a tough, hard and gladiator. - president of KHL Medveščak Damir Gojanović said on the press conference.

Medveščak's goalkeeper and one of the key players Slovene Robert Kristan said: - I'm sure that us players aren't aware of where will we play. This is a complete new experience both for us and the citizens of Pula and it's guests. We're used to big projects that Medveščak are doing but this will be truly spectacle and a big challenge for all players. Temperature won't be problem because in the ice halls full of people we play on 26 °C.
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