FANS of the Cardiff Devils are excited to be moving to the new ice arena for their first match on Saturday March 12.
The long-anticipated opening is approaching after fans were made to wait for a few months because of building delays. The new venue will replace the Cardiff Bay Ice Arena, affectionately known as the Big Blue Tent, and will be Wales’s national stadium for ice sports.
Adam Temme, 24, of Aberdare, said: “It is great to finally move over and get a taster for the new rink before the next year.
“However, given the current state of our title hopes, it may not be the wisest idea to move across at such a crucial time. That being said, the arena itself is fantastic and exactly what Cardiff deserves.
“It is also great to see the new venue open and start running. This makes me super excited to take my season ticket spot.”
Marilyn Grierson has been a season ticket holder since 1990. She said: “I have waited a very long time for this new rink and I am proud to say I was one of a large amount of people who fought for it.
“This is the right time to move – we have three league games left, plus the play-offs. It is going to be a very exciting time for us and I can’t wait.”
Malcolm Couldwell, 65, retired, of Devon, said he went to see the Coventry Blaze play the Devils in the Big Blue Tent and was impressed by the team and the venue.
“I am an avid Blaze fan but have been following the Devils closely this season. They should win the league title this year because they have the players and ability but in recent games their mind-set has been questionable.
“I wish them the best of luck in their chase. I actually went to a game that was held in the Big Blue Tent and I must say the best thing about it was the atmosphere.
“It was a great venue because of its compactness. It made me feel like part of the game when I was watching it. Also, the fact that the Blaze won the last ever game there makes the old venue even more special to me.”
Kris Agland, commercial director for the Cardiff Devils, says the team are looking forward to the move.
He said: “We can’t wait to play our first game at the Ice Arena. We have needed the move for a while now so we’re happy it’s finally going ahead. The team have been training there all week and getting used to the new surroundings.”
They played their final game in the Big Blue Tent last Saturday and lost 2-1 to the Blaze. Fans are hoping for a win in tonight’s away game against the Nottingham Panthers at 7.30pm.
Faithful fans have to wait until Saturday March 12 to see the new venue, when the Devils will play the Belfast Giants.
Tickets for the first home game at the Ice Arena Wales are available here.