Opened in April 2015, the CSKA Arena (former VTB Ice Palace) is Russia’s largest indoor arena with a total area of 70,000 metres squared. It is the home arena of CSKARussian: ЦСКА, a Russian ice hockey club based in Moscow. This venue comprises three arenas: the largest (12,000 seats), a smaller one (3,500 seats) and one designed for training (500 seats). The Hockey Hall of FameRussian: Zal khokkeynoy slavy or Зал хоккейной славы 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 LeagueRussian: Liga Legend mirovogo khokkeya or Лига Легенд мирового хоккея.
The larger and smaller arenas are transformable to host a variety of events, making the CSKA Arena a unique venue in Moscow. The hockey arena quickly transforms into a venue for other sporting competitions and large-scale shows. When it is transformed, the large arena can seat up to 14,000 and the small one up to 5,000. The CSKA Arena is part of the facilities making up the Park of LegendsRussian: Park Legend or Парк Легенд, a sports and entertainment venue in Moscow. The open-air ice rink is the only facility open to the public in the Park in wintertime.
Hockey and more
Concerts by legendary performers such as Ricky Martin and the British group Pet Shop Boys, are some examples of events hosted by the stadium in 2016. Their concerts played to full houses, proving that the CSKA Arena is a great venue for 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 CSKA Arena was the main stadium of the International Championship held in Moscow from 6 to 22 May, 2016. It is the home arena of the HC CSKA Moscow, a school for prospective Olympic participants and junior hockey teams. The schedule of hockey games is available on the official websites of the CSKA Arena and HC CSKA Moscow.
In addition to the Ice Palace, the Park of Legends also features a water sports area, including the Anastasia Davydova Olympic Centre of Synchronized SwimmingRussian: Olimpiyskiy tsentr sinkhronnogo plavaniya imeni Anastasii Davydovoy or Олимпийский центр синхронного плавания имени Анастасии Давыдовой (indoor and outdoor pools, fitness and spa centres), Russia’s first Hockey MuseumRussian: Muzey khokkeya or Музей хоккея, a conference centre, a four-star hotel, a business centre and a huge residential complex. Visitors and residents have access to a multi-storey carpark with 3,000 parking spaces.
The CSKA Arena is the home venue of the Hockey Legends ClubRussian: klub «Legendy khokkeya» or клуб «Легенды хоккея». This Moscow veterans’ hockey club was established in 2005, and it has since consisted 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. The Amateur Female Hockey LeagueRussian: Liga zhenskogo khokkeya sredi lyubiteley or Лига женского хоккея среди любителей was created in 2015, becoming Russia’s largest womens’ hockey initiative.
Ice palace’s building and infrastructure
The stadium building has an unusual design, with its façade’s impressive mirror surface reminiscent of scratches and marks on the ice from ice skates, and the 900-square-meter media façade is also particularly impressive.
Inside the Ice Palace, the large arena has nine changing rooms for hockey players, one of which comprises a workout room with training equipment. The smaller and training arenas have 14 changing rooms which are used by 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 arenas are equipped with press centres. Stadium designers equipped the place with a kitchen and food processing facility, as well. At the stadium, there are over a dozen of fast food restaurants, Vsyo OkeyRussian: Всё хоккей! (That’s Hockey) cafés and a restaurant, Ledovy Hot Ice Bar (next to the 212 section). A playground is located on the second floor of the Big ArenaRussian: Bolshaya arena or Большая арена (next to 211 and 212 sections); it’s free of charge on days with scheduled events (opens 1.5 hour before the start of the event and closes 1 hour after the end of the event).
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Hockey fame museum
Russia’s first Hockey Museum is one of the major attractions at the Park of Legends. Its 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 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 HistoryRussian: Krasnaya mashina. Stranitsy istorii or Красная машина. Страницы истории is currently on at the museum. It is devoted to the first years of ice hockey in Russia and to the Soviet and Russian hockey team performances from 1954 to today. On display 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 from the 1960s and early 1970s; jerseys of Moscow’s SpartakRussian: Спартак and Krylya SovetovRussian: Крылья Советов 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. Visitors to the exhibit can stroll around the Hall of Fame, which gives an interactive presentation of the personalities who contributed greatly to the development of ice hockey in Russia. Among its honorary members are prominent players, coaches, officials and referees. Tickets to the Hockey Museum are sold at the ticket office of the CSKA Arena. Tickets cost 200 RUB or 100 RUB for concession. The museum is open from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm and is closed on Mondays.
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, compared with 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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