Friday 11 December 2009

HC Mountfield Ceske Budejovice

HC Mountfield play in the top flight of Czech ice hockey, and for my visit on October 25th, lost 4-1 at home to Pardubice. The crowd was much bigger than the First division football match I had been to just before, with a crowd of 5,645 at the hockey.

I bought my ticket earlier in the day, as it was tight between the two, and got the cheapest, 100Kc, well under four quid, for the home terrace. After the first period I simply walked up to the seats, and sat in an epmty one! The visitors won 4-1, with three quick goals scored at the start of the second period, I missed two of them as I was enjoying my bowl of goulash at one of the food stalls outside!

Zimni Stadion is Czech for what we'd call the ice rink.

This is the main entrance.

Unsurprisingly the place is named after the local beer company!

On the left of this snap is one of the ticket booths.

A map of the arena. My ticket was section B5, the red bit at the front of the end on the right of the diagram.

Here we are out on the road, the building to the left is part of the arena. It is a small secondary rink.

I stuck my head through the door...

There's some sort of kids' public session going on.

There's no seating here, but there is is a balcony up above, bother behind the goal here..

And along the side, above the team benches.

Back outside, later in the day for the main match, this is the visitors' team bus.

Here we are behind the goal, terraced section behind us, as the game is about to face off.

Here is the game in progress.

To my left this small section is for the away fans.

Above them, up in the rafters, are club banners.

This is the side to my left, past the away section.

From this corner we look at the home terrace, behind the goal. This is where the noisy hardcore fans congregate. there is seating above them.

Still snapping away from roughly the same spot, we look across the ice.

Another look at the home terrace.

And down the left hand side again.

From the walkway, up in the seats above, we look down on the drummers, in between periods.

The seats on our left again, from the higher view.

And immediately down the ice.

This is the view of the away fans, from where I sat for the rest of the match.

This is the bank of seats down the right hand side.

And this is the ice from the other end, where you can clearly see the split between the seats up above and the terracing below, thanks to the white wall.

At this end there is less seating, due to the executive boxes at the back.

Here's a bit of a wobbly shot of this end.

Back down the other end now, and the game is over, home fans leaving, away fans waiting a few moments.

This is the seating above the terrace.

Which is the section above the drummers..and where the trumpeters were seated!

To our left, for the last time, with the crowd gone.

And to the right.

A last look down the ice, now empty, score still up on the board.

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