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Fans and players look forward to opening of £17m Cardiff Bay ice arena

ICE hockey fans and skaters are looking forward to the opening of a new £17m ice arena in Cardiff Bay next month.

While no official date has been given for the opening of the new arena, the Cardiff Devils ice hockey team, who will make it their home, are hopeful the announcement of a February opening date is imminent.

Kris Agland, commercial director for the Devils, said: “At the moment we are taking it game by game but we should know within the next few days.

Artists impression of Ice Arena Wales

Artists impression of Ice Arena Wales

“It doesn’t really affect the team too much but, of course, we are excited about our new home. They’re getting the last few bits ready for the stadium so it shouldn’t be too long.”

Mr Agland explained that the Devils have been selling tickets for their home matches on a game-by-game basis, as there is no set date for the move into the new stadium.

Tickets are available for their home games up until 6th February but no games after.

According to previous news reports, it was initially hoped to open the stadium last year, but ice hockey fans and the skaters who will also use the facility will be delighted when it finally launches.

A Cardiff City Council spokesman said: “We believe the move will be taking place shortly and there will be a press release sent out when all is ready.”

Cardiff has been without a permanent home for winter sports since the demolition of the Wales National Ice Rink in 2006. The Devils have been playing their home games at a temporary structure close to the new venue, known locally as the Big Blue Tent.

Despite this, the team have managed to remain competitive and are currently leading the Elite Ice Hockey League.

The new Olympic standard venue will be a marked improvement on the current facilities. The facility will seat 3,000 spectators, 500 more than the Big Blue Tent. The new facility will also have two ice rinks, as opposed to the existing one.

The joint venture between Cardiff Council and developers Greenbank is expected to cost around £17m and will form part of a £400m development that aims to improve sporting facilities in the Bay alongside new housing.