Friday 9 March 2012
Bristol Pitbulls play in the third tier of English ice hockey, in the English League Division One South. Their rink is reknowned for being rundown, and it was announced that this was their last full season there, so I took the opportunity to see a Sunday game there at the end of February 2012; as I had never been there to see Streatham Redskins.
It is a strange rink, with the ice being up on the second floor. I am glad I got there before the bulldozers, even if it was every bit of a dump as I expected! ;-)
Apologies for a number of these photos being very blurred, flash photography is not allowed at hockey matched, and the lighting was poor without flash, but I hope you get a little feel of the place.
The outside of the building, the ice rink is up the stairs, to the left, above the light blue sign.
This light blue sign.
I'm sure this place was 'state of the art' in it's day.
Phew! After the climb we are inside! Through the entrance is the club shop table.
We're going to move round, clockwise. This is past the club table.
The benches, announcers box/stage and awful murals are on the other side.
To our right, behind the goal, is a bank of bench seating.
To the left is the 'canteen' end.
On our side, I think this is one of the penalty boxes.
A couple of rows of plastic backed seating past that point.
They continue as we walk along.
Behind us are the public skating lockers.
Toward the corner it's just stading by the plexi.
But then more seats appear at the bottom.
Canteen door to the left, but you can't get behind the goal at this end.
The canteen room appears open, but shut for business!
The 'view' up the ice, through the canteen glass!
On the floor above the canteen area, there is this childrens party space.
From the window up here we turn to the left hand side,
And up the ice, slightly to the left.
Still on the first floor, but along the side, is the matchday bar, which overlooks the ice. Some home fans enjoying the interval.
From up here we look over the ice once more.
Yes, the bar was dark & dingy! But any bar is better than none, as not all rinks have them...
Seventies style panelling down the steps to the ice level.
Another shot over the ice.
Leftwards, to the corner we couldn't walk round to, so we will go the long way round to that far corner spot, and 'continue' from over there.
It's not a specator area, just the benches.
And the visitors one, the other side of the 'stage'.
Here we have some platic seating, at first glance more than adequate...
But the sightlines are awful!
Probably the worst I can ever recall at an ice rink!
You might get 'lucky' with some of the seats...
Looking toward the benches end.
Here they are, clearly one of the best vantage points, as most people sat here.
Down the ice, from this end.
Same spot, turning right, to the seats where you can't see properly from.
Both sides of the rink in shot here, while the game is on.
At the back of the benches. I don't drink, the beers aren't mine!
Side angle of the benches.
'Unusual' scoreboard, in that it's projected onto the wall from a laptop!
The benches, from the other side.
Behind the plexi, from this corner.
A row of plastic seats, on this bend.
And back to the club shop table, where we began, to complete our circuit.
The two teams line up, pre-match.
One blurred atempt at some match action.
One of the Pitbulls, pre-match.
And a campaign poster, to finish, to try to save the place.