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Top 5 Coolest Venues for Hockey

We've been treated to games that have escaped the usual arenas where a game can take place. Here's a look at five of the most unique venues in hockey history.
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Outdoor hockey games at the junior, minor-pro, and professional levels have been commonplace for many years. 

For the most part, these games have taken place at baseball or football stadiums, but a few teams and leagues have truly thought outside the box for game venues. Heck, on the ball hockey side, Bermuda plays on the side of a cliff in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. 

Here's a look at some of the most unique locations that ice hockey has taken place in:

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Pula Arena 

When we think about historic facilities in North America that have hosted outdoor hockey games, such stadiums like Fenway Park and Wrigley Field come to mind. 

In Croatia, they went VERY deep into history for a very unique outdoor game. 

In 2012, the league now known as the ICE Hockey League staged Arena Ice Fever Pula MMXII between Olimpija and Medvescak at the Roman Coliseum, constructed between 27AD and 68 AD. The rink was able to fit perfectly into the Coliseum and according to the organizers, they didn't encounter anytechnical difficulties in making the game happen. 

Two thousand fans were in attendance for a game that visually had some of the most striking images you'll find anywhere in hockey. 

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The Parking Lot of Caesars Palace

The NHL's first attempt at a game in Las Vegas in September 1991 is one that in many ways was memorable. 

The New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings squared off in the parking lot of Caesars Palace for a pre-season game, a bout that was won by the Kings 5-2.

But the final score may have been the least important part of this game. 

The two teams played in 85F/29C degree heat, easily the hottest recorded temperature for any outdoor game in league history.

The ice was able to last for the entirety of the game, but it did need a little repairing as the blue lines – which were made of fabric under the ice – started to break through the playing surface. 

At various times, grasshoppers even jumped onto the ice, making themselves somewhat of an extra attacker in the game. Weird, but hilarious.

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The rooftop of the Plaza Hotel And Casino

In Feb. 2014, the ECHL's Las Vegas Wranglers finalized an arena deal that would have been unlike any other in the hockey world. 

The franchise had planned to play in an arena on the roof of the Plaza Hotel and Casino. 

The idea for most teams would have been absurd, but the Wranglers were a team that had long embraced being a little different as shown by playing a game every year at midnight and an "Adults Only" game that showcased the more mature elements of Las  Vegas. 

Ultimately by May 2014, the plan was scrapped due to the cost of creating the facility – and the team eventually folded.

Moscow's Red Square 

In 2009, the KHL held their first All-Star Game and from the jump, they went with a venue that was one of a kind and very important in Russian history. 

Red Square was the backdrop of choice as Team Jagr would square off against Team Yashin in front of an estimated 4,000 fans. The game was one of the few to not take place in a gridiron football, soccer, or baseball stadium. 

The league has yet to repeat the 2009 game, but for a first outdoor event, it was cool to see one of the oldest and largest squares in Moscow get the spotlight in a hockey element. 

Edgewood Tahoe Resort

The most recent games on this list were created out of the COVID-19 pandemic as a part of the NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe brand – but it certainly had its moments. 

The games involving the Vegas Golden Knights taking on the Colorado Avalanche and the Boston Bruins playing the Philadelphia Flyers looked almost as if they were taking place in a video game with some of the visuals. 

The Vegas-Colorado game did face issues, however. Due to its early start time, the ice began to melt, which infamously resulted in players and officials stumbling on holes in the ice, forcing a delay. 

On the lighter side, the Lake Tahoe games also gave us the Boston Bruins walking to the rink in 1990s inspired ski outfits. So, that was fun, at least.

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