The Pula spectacle, the games in the ancient Roman amphitheatre in Pula were played in 2012. The EBEL league season games were played by the teams from Ljubljana and Vienna against the “home” team of Medvescak Zagreb. There was a game played by Russian veterans against the team of Croatian vets which, many insiders would say, was the game that sold the team to the KHL.
The games were observed, and played in case of the vet’s game, by the former KHL president Alexander Medvedev who praised the organisation.
The Roman Amphitheatre games were the one of a kind event in the hockey world. Just behind the walls of the arena you could see the beautiful Adriatic sea, the event was a gladiator battle more than a hockey game and there were even Roman announcers at the game!
The biggest problems were temperatures higher than 30 degrees celsius, the malfunctioning of the ice facilities… The first game against Olimpija Ljubljana was delayed for couple of hours and wes the first and only game in the EBEL league to finish later than midnight. The away team won.
Three years later it’s time for a second try at the spectacle. The games with the Russian teams under the sky would certainly be an excellent marketing move, as well as a big financial bite for the struggling team. Ranko Vučinić, Medveščak’s head of PR commented:
“We can’t confirm the team nor the opponent. Currently we do not have a sponsor that would cover the cost of the event in Pula.”
According to the Austrian media, the dates are already set to 9th and 11th of October. Accidentally Medveščak plays two away games on those dates in Kazan and in Ufa. Would the teams of AK Bars and Salavat Yulaev forfeit their home games to play away in Pula or would there be some other ideas remains to be seen.