Is It Cold at a Hockey Game? Understanding the Chill of Ice Rinks

When it comes to the world of sports, few are as intense and exhilarating as hockey. This fast-paced game is known for its bone-crushing hits, lightning-fast slapshots, and, of course, the iconic ice rink where it all takes place. But if you’ve ever attended a hockey game, you might be wondering: Is it cold at a hockey game? In this article, we’ll explore the answer to that question, delving into the reasons behind the chill, what to wear, and some frequently asked questions to help you prepare for your next hockey game adventure.

Why Is It Cold at a Hockey Game?

  1. Ice Rink Necessities:

    The primary reason it’s cold at a hockey game is that the entire sport is played on an ice rink. Maintaining the ice’s quality and integrity is crucial for the safety and performance of the players. Ice rinks are typically kept at a temperature of around 22-24°F (-5.5 to -4.5°C) to ensure the ice remains solid and fast.

  2. Player Comfort:

    The players themselves are dressed in layers of gear and uniforms, which can generate a lot of body heat. To prevent overheating and ensure their comfort during the game, the arena’s temperature is kept low.

  3. Audience Experience:

    While it might be chilly, the cold environment enhances the overall hockey experience for fans. The cold temperature helps create a unique and exhilarating atmosphere, and it’s a part of the sport’s tradition. Fans appreciate the authentic feeling of watching a game in a frigid environment, just like the professionals on the ice.

What to Wear at a Hockey Game

Now that we’ve answered the question of why it’s cold at a hockey game, let’s explore what you should wear to stay comfortable while enjoying the action.

  1. Layered Clothing:

    Layering is key to staying warm at a hockey game. Start with a thermal base layer to trap body heat close to your skin. Over this, wear a sweater or fleece for additional insulation. Finish with a winter coat, preferably one that’s windproof. This way, you can adjust your clothing as needed to manage your comfort.

  2. Warm Bottoms:

    Don’t forget about your lower half. Thermal leggings or long underwear can be a game-changer. Layer these under your pants or jeans to keep your legs warm. If you’re sitting on cold arena seats, consider wearing thick socks and insulated boots.

  3. Gloves and Accessories:

    Keeping your extremities warm is crucial. Invest in a good pair of insulated gloves to protect your hands. You may also want to bring a warm hat and a scarf to keep your head and neck cosy.

  4. Blanket or Seat Cushion:

    Bringing a warm, comfortable blanket to wrap around yourself or an insulated seat cushion can make a significant difference in your overall comfort during the game.

  5. Hand Warmers:

    Disposable hand warmers are a lifesaver. Slip them into your gloves or pockets to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the game.

  6. Team Merchandise:

    Don’t forget to show your team spirit by wearing your favourite team’s merchandise. A team jersey or hoodie can add an extra layer of warmth while showing your support.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How cold is it inside a hockey arena?

Hockey arenas are typically maintained at a temperature of around 60-65°F (15-18°C). While this might not be as cold as the ice rink itself, it’s still cooler than room temperature. The temperature can vary from one arena to another, so it’s a good idea to check with the specific venue before attending a game.

2. Can you bring a blanket or cushion to a hockey game?

Yes, most hockey arenas allow fans to bring blankets and insulated seat cushions to stay warm and comfortable during the game. However, it’s advisable to check the arena’s specific policies before bringing these items.

3. Why is it colder at some hockey games than others?

The temperature inside an arena can vary depending on several factors, including the outdoor weather, the age and design of the arena, and the preferences of the team and venue management. Older arenas may have less effective climate control systems, making them feel colder, while newer venues tend to offer better temperature regulation.

4. Can you rent or purchase warm clothing at the arena?

Some hockey arenas offer rental or sale of warm clothing items, such as blankets, hoodies, and even gloves. However, it’s best to come prepared with your own warm clothing to ensure you stay comfortable throughout the game.

5. Do outdoor hockey games feel colder than indoor games?

Yes, outdoor hockey games, like the NHL’s Winter Classic, can feel significantly colder than indoor games due to the exposure to outdoor temperatures. In such cases, fans should dress even warmer to combat the cold.


To answer the question, “Is it cold at a hockey game?”—yes, it can be quite chilly. The combination of the ice rink’s temperature, player comfort, and the overall fan experience contribute to the cool environment inside a hockey arena. However, with the right clothing and accessories, you can stay warm and fully enjoy the excitement of this fast-paced and action-packed sport. So, dress warmly, bring your team spirit, and get ready to embrace the chill of the ice rink at your next hockey game.

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