Stuck for something to do on a Saturday night? Don’t fancy heading into town or nothing on at the cinema?
I think I have found a great alternative, taking a trip to watch the Sheffield Steelers ice hockey team at the Sheffield Arena. They are one of the best teams in the country so well worth a watch during your time in Sheffield. So, this is exactly what I decided to do on Saturday night when the Steelers were up against Coventry Blaze in a league match.
Getting there couldn’t be easier. The Steelers matches are played at Sheffield Arena, just near Meadowhall, to the northeast of the city. The Supertram goes right by the arena for only a £4 return ticket, or those who are lucky enough to have a car can get parking right outside for £7 on the day or £5 pre-paid.
I suggest going early and taking a short walk over the road to the nearby restaurant complex for a bite to eat pre-game. There are a huge number to choose from: Nandos, Bella Italia, Five Guys, the list goes on. As you wander over, you’ll start to spot the Steelers fans in their bright orange oversized jerseys.
After grabbing some dinner you can get into the Arena one hour before ‘Face Off’ to find your seat and maybe grab some snacks. The food and drink bars inside can be a bit pricey but getting a Superpint of beer (when I say super, I mean super) will last you most of the game. It’s always good to watch the players warm up too; I am still in awe of their ability to skate at such high speed, let alone backwards.
For most of you, as was the case with me, I had no clue about pretty much any of the ice hockey rules, except that you needed to hit the puck into the net to score. I quickly learnt that the match consisted of 3 periods, each lasting 20 minutes with 15 minutes break in between. We weren’t short of entertainment throughout the match; there was a lot of bashing of players into the sides, a couple of fights, and 11 goals in total, all resulting in a last minute win for Sheffield.
The roughly 5000 fans watching were even better. Each time a goal was scored, the Steelers fans broke into song, encouraged by the very entertaining MC. Each time a penalty occurred, someone was sin binned (happens a lot!) or a goal was scored, the crowd would be treated to a song snippet apt to the incident it followed. During one of the breaks, suddenly a huge amount of foam pucks started to fly from all areas of the arena onto the ice. We soon learnt this was the ‘Chuck a Puck’. For £1 you can buy a puck with a number on, try to throw it as near to the centre circle as possible, with the winner getting £50 of Steelers merchandise.
All of these added extras just added to the spectacle of the evening. We left wondering when the next home match was so we could go again. With student deals regularly put on by the University you can get tickets for as little as £5 each a game. Even for the standard student price of £13.50 it is well worth a visit.
Take a look at the Steeler’s website for all their up and coming fixtures: