Popped out on Saturday night to see The Bristol Pitbulls. Pro Ice Hockey returns to Bristol for the first time in 16 years apparently. Always liked to watch and PlayStation a bit of NHL over the years so it was nice to be able to see a local game of this fantastic sport.
The Pitbulls were playing the Cardiff Satans (I kid you not, nice peeps the Welsh) and so we turned up about 30 minutes before Face off. Advised by the ticket lady to sit behind the goal for the best view. Hmmm, this is Bristol Ice rink. It's the only view and even this one isn't much cop. Anyway watching the Satans warm up was the most terrifying experience of recent times. I know that the puck does leave the rink from time to time during a match. But this is rare and usually your only watching one puck at a time. In warm up it's a about 30 of them and as with Hockey, an uncontrolled hit can send that missile anywhere. When the first puck landed by my feet I was on my guard. A few of their players even aimed a couple over the barriers (nice peeps the Welsh). Anyway no injuries.
The game itself though is top notch to watch in the flesh. Fast, committed, violent. It's all of these things and more and Bristol should be glad they have a team to watch. They also won which was a bonus. A pretty tight and nervy game, with tensions rising in both teams. Good to see a bit of fighting before the end as well. That's what Ice Hockey is all about.
Good value as well at £6 for adults and £3 for kids. That's about 3 hours entertainment. Local Football could learn something. Of course how long it will last in Bristol is down to support I think. There were enough people in to create an atmosphere but I fail to see how far the sport can go in Bristol. Bristol Ice Rink you see is a shit hole. If you haven't been there for about 30 years then there is no need to get nostalgic about the place. It is exactly the same with 30 more years of wear and tear.
The success of any sport is based on it's support. I just don't know where anymore support will be able to sit and support in this venue. A real Shame for a city the size of Bristol. But then how many times do we say this about anything in this City. Exactly who does it cater for???
Bristol Pitbulls 1 - Bristol Ice Rink 0
Oh I didn't mention the playing of the National Anthems. People actually stood up. I didn't because it felt weird, but more importantly I don't recognise that as the English National Anthem. But another time......