Frozen activities took over our weekend in Belfast, starting with the first night of the two Red Bull Crashed Ice adrenaline filled events at Stormont and followed by a Saturday night as guests of Stenaline at the Belfast Giants game in the Odyssey Arena.
Red Bull invited us along to enjoy what was definitely a fun afternoon and evening of fast action on an amazing ice track built at the front doors of Stormont Buildings.
The media hype in the build up to the event was certainly impressive and I think we were all coasting along on a wave of excitement. Crashed Ice is a big event in traditional ‘winter’ countries, you know, the ones with proper winters! So for them to come to Stormont and build their fastest track and host the best attended event they have ever hosted, is a big deal.
Here are some stats:
430-meter long track
5.5-meter high step-up over their highest ever bridge
3 Canadian winners
1 amazing looking Stormont estate
And let’s not forget the high-speed U-turn Wall Ride right before the finish line which we were lucky enough to get an up close view of for part of our night. If you got a great viewpoint along the side of the track, the athletes looked amazing as they raced past at speeds of up to 60 km/h. Unfortunately though there weren’t enough of those cracker viewpoints and some left frustrated before the second phase of the races and before the excitement really ramped up on the big screens and amongst the crowd. The temperature was perfect for an ice race….BALTIC!
The following night we headed off to the Odyssey as guests of Stenaline to enjoy the atmosphere of the award winning Belfast Giants. We last saw the Giants play many years ago to a not hugely packed out arena, but how times have clearly changed. There is a huge local fanbase for a sport we’ve always viewed as one of those ‘winter’ country sports. The NI fans have clearly embraced their ice hockey!
The atmosphere was quite something, with drums, mascots, games and ice hockey mayhem, it’s like something you’d see in stadium across the Atlantic.
What a buzz! With every near miss goal, the tension and excitement was electric and with every goal the roof lifted off the arena.
The ice hockey match intervals were filled with games on and off the ice with food sponsors throwing food into the crowd, junior ice hockey games and Stenaline ticket giveaways.
It’s easy to see why a Belfast ice hockey team can fill the Odyssey and build such a strong fanbase with that kind of atmosphere. And maybe as a result they’ve gained a couple of new fans from Belfast Times.
The only disappointment was, they didn’t win. But we’ve been promised that next time we go, they’ll make more of an effort! lol
For more Crashed Ice info
For more Belfast Giants info