Opened in April 2015, VTB Ice Palace is Russia’s largest indoor arena with a total area of 70,000 sq. m. and the home arena of Dynamo, a Russian ice hockey club based in Moscow. This venue comprises three arenas: the big one (12,000 seats), the small one (3,500 seats) and the training one (500 seats). The Hockey Hall of Fame holds an exhibition covering the history of Russian ice hockey. Some members of the Hockey Hall of Fame can be seen in person in the arena, which regularly hosts the international hockey tournament known as the World Legends Hockey League.
The big and small arenas are transformable to host a variety of events, making the VTB Ice Palace Moscow’s unique sports landmark. The hockey arena transforms in the shortest possible time into a venue for other sporting competitions or large-scale show programmes. In this case, the big arena seats up to 14,000 and the small one up to 5,000. The VTB Ice Palace is part of the facilities making up the Park of Legends, a sports and entertainment venue in Moscow. The open-air ice rink is the only facility open to the public at the Park in wintertime.
Hockey and more
Concerts by the legendary foreign performers, Ricky Martin and the British group Pet Shop Boys, are some examples of non-sportive mass events hosted by the stadium in 2016. Their concerts played to full houses, proving that the VTB Ice Palace is a great concert venue capable of hosting concerts by the world’s top musicians.
At the same time, the stadium mainly serves as a venue for international ice hockey and figure skating competitions. The VTB Ice Palace was the main stadium of the International Championship held in Moscow from 6 to 22 May, 2016. Above all, it is the home arena of the HC Dynamo Moscow, a school for prospective Olympic participants and for junior hockey teams. The schedule of hockey games is available on the official websites of the VTB Ice Palace and of the HC Dynamo Moscow.
In addition to the Ice Palace, the Park of Legends also features a water sports complex, including the Anastasia Davydova Olympic Centre of Synchronized Swimming (indoor and outdoor pools, fitness and spa centres), Russia’s first Hockey Museum, a congress centre, a four-star hotel, a business centre and a huge residential complex. Visitors and residents have access to a multi-level parking with 3,000 parking spaces.
The VTB Ice Palce is the home venue of the Hockey Legends Club. This Moscow veterans’ hockey club was established in 2005, when it built a team of renowned Russian hockey players. The club is also the founder of the World Hockey Legends League tournament, attended by 20th-century top hockey stars (Olympic and world champions, Stanley Cup winners and members of the NHL and IIHF Hockey Halls of Fame). The participating teams make up national hockey federations and associations. Six European veterans’ teams – Russia, Germany, Slovakia, Finland, Czech Republic and Sweden – attended the first drawing of the Legends League. In the 2016/2017 season, they were joined by Swiss and French teams. As part of the club’s activities, the Amateur Female Hockey League was created in 2015, becoming Russia’s largest female hockey project.
Ice palace’s building and infrastructure
The stadium’s building has an unusual and recognizable design, with its façade’s impressive mirror surface reminiscent of scratches and marks on ice from ice skates, and the 900-square-meter media façade makes you wonder at the progress made by modern technologies!
Inside the Ice Palace, the big arena has nine changing rooms for hockey players, one of which comprises a workout room with training equipment. The small and training arenas have 14 changing rooms servicing children attending the junior hockey school and hockey teams on a daily basis. Three training rooms are available to hockey players. The sports complex has some 80 comfortable VIP lounges, and the big and small arenas are equipped with ultramodern press centres. It was very thoughtful of stadium designers to furnish the palace with a kitchen and a food processing facility, too. At the stadium, there are over a dozen of fast food restaurants, Vsyo Okey (That’s Hockey) cafés and a restaurant, Ledovy Hot Ice Bar (next to the 212 section). A playground is open to the little visitors on the second floor of the Big Arena (next to 211 and 212 sections); it’s free of charge on the days with scheduled events (opens 1.5 hour before the start and closes 1 hour after the end of the event).
Hockey fame museum
Russia’s first Hockey Fame Museum is one of the major infrastructure facilities of the Park of Legends. The inauguration ceremony took place on 6 May 2016, the first day of the Ice Hockey World Championship. The exhibition halls are located in the early 20th-century building designed by the renowned avant-garde architect Konstantin Melnikov. The museum is built mostly in Stalin’s Empire style, one of the leading Soviet architectural styles from the mid-1940s to the mid-1950s. It is this period that saw the emergence of ice hockey in Russia, where it was to become no less than a national sport. An exhibition entitled Red Machine. Pages of History is currently on at the museum. It is devoted to the first years of ice hockey in Russia and to Soviet and Russian hockey team performances between 1954 to the present day. On view are a hockey stick from a 1946 hockey match; gold medals won by Soviet and Russian national teams at all world championships and Olympic games since 1954; a superb collection of Soviet goalie masks of the 1960s and early 1970s; jerseys of Moscow’s Spartak and Krylya Sovetov hockey teams from the early 1950s; historical documents, including certificates of merit and orders issued by the authorities that are of historic importance to Russian ice hockey; hockey sticks autographed by prominent Soviet and Russian players such as Vyacheslav Fetisov, Igor Larionov, Valery Kamensky, Aleksey Kasatonov, Sergey Makarov, Zinetula Bilyaletdinov and many more.
The interactive part of the exhibition features a goal cage and a goalie outfit that anyone can try on to feel what it means to be the goalie of the Russian national hockey team. Visitors to the exhibit can stroll around the Hall of Fame that gives an interactive presentation of the personalities who contributed greatly to the development of ice hockey in Russia. Among its 147 honorary members are prominent players, coaches, officials and referees. Tickets to the Hockey Museum are sold at the ticket office of the VTB Ice Palace. Tickets: 200 RUB; 100 RUB (concessions). The museum is open from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm, closed on Mondays.
Extra bonus: an open-air ice rink near the Hockey Museum is open to visitors in wintertime. A single ticket to the museum and the ice rink will cost you only 300 RUB, as compared to the 250 RUB you have to pay for a ticket to the rink only. You can also play hockey at the rink or take hockey lessons during special “hockey hours”.
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