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And now, ice hockey in a Roman gladiatorial amphitheatre

Sep 17, 2012, 4:31 PM EDT

A general view of the ice hockey match between KHL Medvescak Zagreb and Telemach Olympija Ljubljana during the Arena Ice Fever - Pula MMXII  at the Roman amphitheatre in Pula Reuters

Are you not entertained?!

The Pula Arena in Croatia (grand opening: 68 AD) is the most completely preserved ancient Roman amphitheater in the world. Unknown if Maximus wrestled with tigers there, but it was used for gladiatorial combat, then medieval fairs, and more recently theater productions. And now of course it’s a hockey arena.

Well, it’s been used as such for two games, as Medvescak Zagreb, the only Croatian team in the Austrian Erste Bank Eishockey League, played Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia) and the Vienna Capitals on Friday and Sunday, respectively. Attendance for both matches: 7,000 (the place held about 22,000 when gladiators and lions were the big attractions). From Puck Daddy:

It took six days to transport 150 tons of equipment from Italy to Zagreb, Croatia. Through partners, sponsors and ticket sales, the entire weekend, which also included a legends game, cost the team around 500,000 Euros (approximately $627,000 USD).

In the end, Olimpija Ljubljana — after a two-hour ice delay thanks to some rain the day before — took the first game on Friday 3-2, but Medvescak rebounded on Sunday blanking the Vienna Capitals 4-0.

More photos, info here. I wonder if the vendors sold otters’ noses and rams’ livers.

  1. t16rich - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:13 AM


  2. unknowneric - Sep 18, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    Veni, vidi, edi nachos.

    • Rick Chandler - Sep 18, 2012 at 12:47 PM