KHL training camps are underway and as the league prepares for its seventh season, Mettallurg Magnitogorsk has plans to take the outdoor game idea a unique level, one we saw for the first time two years ago.
Metallurg and Traktor Chelyabinsk play five times this season, but there are early talks for one of those meetings to take place outdoors. In taking an idea from Austria's Erste Bank Eishockey League, they would like to put the game inside a 2,000-year old Roman amphitheatre in Verona, Italy.
Mettallurg vice president Gennady Velichkin revealed the idea earlier this week.
"Our Italian partners have put forward such an idea. Especially in the CHL is a tradition from time to time hold matches in Europe to promote and to increase spectator interest. They want one of our principal Games held here.”
There has been talk of putting a KHL team in Italy for a few years now, but plans to add Hockey Milano Rossoblu have fallen through for the moment. Holding an outdoor game in the country will certainly keep that dream alive.
Arena di Verona, built in 30 AD, has hosted operas and concerts, but never a sporting event. The venue can hold up to 15,000 spectators, and if it’s anything like what we saw in Zagreb in 2012, it will look beautiful.
In 2012, Olimpija Ljubljana and UPC Vienna Capitals faced off against Medvescak Zagreb inside Pula Area, a 2,000-plus-year old Roman ampitheatre in Croatia. The games featured just over 7,000 fans each, so you could imagine the atmosphere with double the amount of spectators in such a unique setting.
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