Ice hockey is an intense and thrilling sport that has attracted fans from around the world. If you’ve ever watched a game, you know how exciting it can be to see players blur by on the ice as they pass the puck back and forth.
But if you’re planning to attend a hockey game in person for the first time, there may be some things that you don’t know about what to expect, especially when it comes to temperature. After all, ice needs to be kept frozen to play hockey, right?
“Fans who go to games watch players sweat profusely, but secretly wish they could wear their gloves just to keep warm.” – George Vecsey
So, what should you wear to stay comfortable while watching a hockey game? Will you need a parka, or will a light jacket suffice? What kind of heating systems do arenas use?
In this article, we’ll explore what factors affect the temperature inside a typical hockey arena, including crowd size, weather conditions, and ice maintenance. We’ll also recommend some clothing choices based on your own personal preferences. By the end of this post, you’ll have a better understanding of what to expect when attending a live hockey game so that you can fully enjoy the experience!
Why Hockey Arenas Are Colder Than Other Sports Venues
The Importance of Ice Surface Temperature
In order for hockey players to perform at their best, the ice surface temperature needs to be carefully monitored and maintained. The optimal temperature for a hockey rink is between 24-26 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature allows for the ice to remain hard enough for the puck to glide smoothly across it, while also providing enough traction for the players’ skates.
This ideal temperature also means that the air temperature inside the hockey arena needs to be quite cold in order to maintain the proper temperature of the ice surface. If the air temperature in the arena were higher, the ice would begin to melt and create uneven surfaces on the playing area. This could not only affect the performance of the players, but it could also lead to an increased risk of injury from falls.
Arenas Need to Accommodate for Players’ Physical Activity
Another reason why hockey arenas are colder than other sports venues has to do with the amount of physical activity taking place during a game. Hockey players are constantly moving on the ice, which can cause them to generate a significant amount of body heat. In order to prevent the ice from melting due to this added warmth, the arena’s cooling system needs to work harder to keep up with the demand.
This is why you’ll often see players wearing heavy equipment such as helmets, pads, and gloves – not just for protection, but also to help regulate their core body temperature. In addition, many players will take breaks on the bench throughout the game to cool off and avoid overheating.
To Prevent Fog on the Ice
The final reason why hockey arenas are so cold has to do with the potential for fog to form on the ice. If the air temperature in the arena were too high, it could lead to excess humidity and fog formation, making it difficult for the players to see the puck or each other on the ice.
To prevent this from happening, arenas are kept at a very low temperature with reduced humidity levels. In addition, many arenas use dehumidification systems that remove moisture from the air to further minimize the risk of fog formation. This ensures that players can focus on the game without any distracting obstacles getting in their way.
“In order to maintain the ice sheet, good HVAC design should be incorporated into the facility. The mechanical systems must have the capacity to keep up with heat and humidity loads generated by the playing surface and other functions within the building” – Nick Wolfendale, Business Development Manager
There are several reasons why hockey arenas are colder than other sports venues. Maintaining the proper temperature of the ice surface is crucial for performance and player safety, while also preventing excess body heat from causing melting and fog formation. Although it may feel chilly inside the arena, it’s all part of creating the optimal environment for an exciting and competitive game of hockey.
The Ideal Temperature for a Hockey Arena
Is it cold in a hockey arena? Yes, absolutely. But how cold should it really be?
A Temperature that Supports Optimal Ice Quality
The ideal temperature for a hockey arena is directly related to the quality of the ice. The National Hockey League (NHL) recommends that the ice surface be kept between 22-24 degrees Fahrenheit (-5.6 to -4.4 degrees Celsius). This allows the ice to remain hard and smooth, resulting in faster game play with more accurate puck movements.
Maintaining this temperature throughout an entire arena can be challenging. Airflow, humidity, and heat generated by player activity and lighting all affect the temperature of the ice surface. To ensure consistent ice quality, some arenas invest in specialized chilling systems that keep temperatures stable and remove excess humidity from the air.
A Temperature that Balances Player Comfort with Audience Comfort
While optimal ice quality is important, it’s also crucial to consider the comfort of both players and audience members when determining the ideal temperature for a hockey arena.
For example, players need to stay cool during intense physical activity on the rink. If the temperature is too high, they can suffer from dehydration and fatigue. On the other hand, if the temperature is too low, players may not warm up properly before games and could risk injury. Therefore, keeping the overall temperature around 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6-18.3 degrees Celsius) is recommended for player comfort.
As for audience members, sitting in a freezing cold arena isn’t always enjoyable. Some may bring jackets or blankets, but others may not be prepared for such extreme temperatures. To accommodate all visitors, keeping spectator areas at a slightly higher temperature (around 69 degrees Fahrenheit or 20.6 degrees Celsius) ensures a comfortable experience for all without compromising ice quality.
A Temperature that is Energy Efficient and Cost Effective for Arenas
In addition to ensuring optimal ice quality and player/audience comfort, arenas also need to consider energy efficiency and cost effectiveness when determining the ideal temperature.
Keeping an arena at freezing temperatures can consume a lot of energy, resulting in high operating costs for arena owners and operators. By investing in efficient heating and cooling systems, as well as insulation and other building technologies, arenas can reduce their carbon footprint while keeping costs low.
“We use these (energy-efficient) upgrades as a way to save money… because easy things like turning off lights overshadow some of the bigger work you can do.” – Don Renzulli, Senior Vice President of Events at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
With these factors in mind, finding the right temperature balance that supports optimal ice quality, player comfort, audience comfort, and energy efficiency is essential for any successful hockey arena operation.
How to Dress Warmly for a Hockey Game
Layering is Key
If you’re heading to a hockey game, it’s important to dress warmly so that you don’t freeze while enjoying the action on the ice. One of the most essential things you can do when dressing for a hockey game is to layer your clothing.
The best way to start layering is with a base layer made from moisture-wicking fabric. This type of fabric will help keep sweat away from your skin, which will help prevent you from feeling cold. Over the base layer, add an insulating layer like a fleece or sweater. The final layer should be waterproof and windproof, such as a parka or ski jacket to help keep you warm and dry throughout the game.
When deciding how many layers to wear, it’s better to err on the side of caution and go with more than fewer. You can always remove layers if you get too warm, but it’s tough to add them if you didn’t bring them with you!
Wear Insulated and Waterproof Clothing
In addition to layering your clothing, you’ll also need to ensure that what you’re wearing will protect you from the elements. When choosing winter clothes to wear to a hockey game, look for items that are both insulated and waterproof.
Insulated jackets are designed to trap heat close to your body, which will ultimately help keep you warmer throughout the game. Look for coats or jackets that have down insulation, synthetic insulation or even wool linings to help retain heat effectively.
It’s also essential that your outerwear is waterproof since it’s common to come into contact with snow, sleet, or even rain outside of the arena. A good quality raincoat, parka, or ski jacket will ensure that you stay dry throughout the game.
Accessories like Gloves, Scarves and Hats are Essential
Hockey games often require staying outside for long periods. Accessories such as gloves, hats, and scarves can help maintain heat loss from various parts of your body during a hockey game.
Your head is one of the most vulnerable places to lose heat, so investing in a good quality winter hat that covers your ears is essential in keeping yourself warm. Look for insulated materials like wool, which retain warmth even when it’s wet. No need for something too heavy either since activity at a hockey game does produce some inside warmth.
Gloves are another must-have item to keep fingers warmed up. Cold hands aren’t only uncomfortable but can have serious consequences on your health. Opt for gloves with insulation (fleece-lined) and waterproof materials to keep them dry no matter if its snowing out or just chilly.
A scarf helps in protecting your neck and face against cold winds blowing around the arena. It doesn’t have to be anything thick; cotton material would suffice to cover the lower part of your face properly because thicker material might cause breathing issues that could lead to frostbite.
“Winter dressing is all about having chic outerwear.”
Keeping these tips in mind while preparing for the next outdoor hockey game is going to make attending more enjoyable. Don’t hesitate to spend money investing in clothing and accessories that ensure warmth and comfort simultaneously.
Why Cold Temperatures Are Essential for Hockey Players
Prevents Overheating and Dehydration
Hockey is a high-intensity sport that requires players to be physically fit and agile. However, when playing hockey in warm temperatures or humid conditions, players are more susceptible to overheating and dehydration, which can lead to poor performance on the ice and even potential health problems.
Cold temperatures in an arena help prevent these issues by keeping the air cool and dry, allowing players to regulate their body temperature more effectively while also reducing sweat production. This minimizes the risk of dehydration and helps players maintain peak physical performance throughout the game.
“Proper hydration prevents cramps and heatstroke, so it’s important not only to drink water but fluids that include electrolytes,” said Dr. Michael Chmell, an orthopedic surgeon and team physician for Northwestern University Athletics.
Keeps Equipment and Clothing Dry
Besides athletes’ concerns with their own physical wellbeing on the ice, cold temperatures also play a critical role in maintaining the quality of equipment and clothing used while playing. In warmer environments, sweat produced during games accumulates quickly, leaving gear damp and prone to unpleasant odors, mold, and damage over time.
Cooler temperatures allow sweat to evaporate properly, resulting in both heightened comfort for players during play as well as increased longevity of costly sports apparel like skates, sticks, gloves, helmets, and uniforms.
“After using your equipment, hang it up, making sure there is adequate ventilation,” shared Dave Graves, Pro-Gold Team Sales Director at Pure Hockey. “Typically, we recommend opening up your bag, taking out all removable liners, and let them dry until they’re completely dried before putting back into your bag.”
The importance of keeping a hockey arena cold goes beyond just creating an exciting atmosphere for fans. It is a crucial factor in helping players stay safe and comfortable while maximizing their athletic abilities on the ice.
Tips for Staying Warm During a Hockey Game
Bring a Blanket or Stadium Seat Cushion
If you are planning on attending a hockey game, one thing is certain—it’s going to be cold. While arenas and rinks are designed to keep players cool, spectators often find themselves shivering in their seats. One way to combat the chill is by bringing a blanket or stadium seat cushion.
A thick, warm blanket can serve two purposes during a hockey game. First, it will help keep you warm throughout the game. Second, if you happen to get chilly sitting next to someone, you can always share your blanket with them. Just make sure the blanket isn’t too big or bulky so that it doesn’t obstruct anyone else’s view of the game.
If you don’t have a blanket but still want to stay warm, consider bringing a stadium seat cushion. These cushions not only provide some extra padding for your seat but also usually offer insulating properties that will keep you from losing body heat through the seats.
Drink Warm Beverages Throughout the Game
Another tip for staying warm during a hockey game is to drink warm beverages throughout the game. Not only will they help you feel warm from the inside out, but they’ll also soothe your throat if you’re shouting and cheering for your team.
Cocoa is an excellent beverage option for staying warm at hockey games. Many arenas may sell hot cocoa directly inside, but you might want to bring your thermos of cocoa to ensure you won’t miss any parts of the game. You could also try drinking tea, coffee, or even hot apple cider!
Your go-to warm beverage during a hockey match shouldn’t necessarily contain alcohol, despite many people turning to this method to combat cold situations. Alcohol is known for its ability to decrease the body’s core temperature, which could end up making you feel colder than if you hadn’t consumed it.
While blankets and warm beverages can help keep you comfortable at a hockey game, they’re not always enough. To really stay warm while watching your favorite team play, you need to dress appropriately using several layers of clothes that are strategically placed over each other.
Start with a thin layer of silk or polyester as this fabric retains less heat than others followed by insulating materials such as wool, fleece, or down. Protect yourself from the cold wind coming through sleeves and the bottoms of pants legs by adding tight-fitting cuffs or finishing the outfit off with a durable jacket suitable for plunging temperatures.
“Wear layers, wear layers, wear layers! The more insulated clothing articles that trap warmth between them; the better.” -Missy Park, Founder of Title Nine Sports ApparelStay Warm & Chirped Up!
Maintaining comfort in a chilly hockey arena means planning ahead and staying prepared to combat the brutal conditions. Bring a blanket or seat cushion, drink warm cocoa or tea, and put on extra insulated layers for safety and comfort. Follow these tips, and you’ll soon find yourself enjoying the moment without worrying about feeling cold all night long!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are hockey arenas so cold?
Hockey arenas are kept at a temperature of around 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit to maintain the quality of the ice. The cold temperature helps keep the ice hard, smooth and fast, which is essential for the game. Additionally, the temperature is also cold to prevent the players from overheating during the game.
How do players stay warm during a hockey game?
Players stay warm during a hockey game by wearing multiple layers of clothing, including a base layer, a jersey, and protective gear. They also wear gloves, helmets, and face masks to protect themselves from the cold. Moreover, players move constantly during the game, which generates body heat and helps them stay warm.
What is the ideal temperature for a hockey arena?
The ideal temperature for a hockey arena is between 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature helps to maintain the quality of the ice, keeping it hard, smooth and fast. It also prevents the players from overheating during the game. However, the temperature may vary depending on the arena’s size and location.
How does the cold temperature affect the ice quality?
The cold temperature helps to maintain the quality of the ice by keeping it hard, smooth and fast. As the ice gets warmer, it becomes softer and slower, which can affect the game’s quality. Moreover, the cold temperature prevents the ice from melting and forming puddles, which can be dangerous for the players.
Do fans need to dress warmly to watch a hockey game?
Yes, fans need to dress warmly to watch a hockey game because the temperature inside the arena is around 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s essential to wear warm, comfortable clothing, including jackets, hats, gloves, and boots. It’s also recommended to wear multiple layers of clothing to stay warm and comfortable throughout the game.