Are Hockey Games Cold? | What’s the Hockey Arena Temperature?

Are Ice Hockey Arenas Cold

What comes to mind when you hear the word “ice hockey”? Ice is a depiction of low temperatures and cold. So, ever wondered what the temperature of hockey arenas would be? How cold would they be? It is necessary to keep the temperature low in the arena so that the ice remains frozen. Therefore, the temperature is set to be below freezing.

If you are going to a professional hockey game, then sure, this hockey (even all) games are cold but not freezing. However, the professional hockey game temperature usually sets between 60° F – 65° F. Wearing a light jacket is okay to make you feel comfortable. However, recreational games are colder than these games, so you need heavy dressing there. Also, other factors like more people, sitting area, and rink weather impact the rink are involved in making a temperature warm or cold.

Professional Hockey Arena Temperature

In all professional hockey games, the temperature of arenas is usually between 60F (15C) and 65F (18C). The management keeps the initial temperature at 60F (15C) when the game starts, and later as the game progresses, they try to maintain the temperature at 65F (18C) according to the NHL recommendations.

Professional Hockey Arena Temperatures

It is colder near the ice because the ice temperature is even lower. Water freezes to ice at 32F (0C), so the temperature near the ice is lower. The NHL recommends not increasing the temperature to greater than 24 degrees, but hockey is a much-loved sport. Therefore, many people come to watch the game.

The greater the number of people in the building, the higher the temperature because of the crowd. Hence to cater to this issue, the ice technicians use the HVAC systems to keep the building colder and help avoid the temperature rise. This also depends on the venue or the city where the game occurs.

What should you wear to a Professional Hockey Game?

What should you wear to a Professional Hockey Game

So, what should you wear to a professional hockey game if it is this cold? That is a valid question! You are required to wear something to avoid freezing in the cold. But remember, it is not that cold. It’s just a little more than the average, so an average jacket or sweater will be enough to keep you warm and comfortable. Heavy coats, gloves, and ski toques are not necessary for a professional hockey arena.

Recreational Hockey Arena Temperatures and what to wear?

And now comes the recreational hockey arena. What would be the temperature at the recreational hockey arena? Yes, colder than the professional hockey arena! The temperatures at a recreational hockey venue range around 55F (12C) which is chiller than the professional arenas.

Recreational Hockey Arena Temperatures and what to wear

So, if you are going to watch a game of recreational ice hockey for the first time, watch out. You may catch a cold if you don’t dress up according to the temperature. Here you will need to wear more layers of clothing. You need to bring warm coats, gloves, and ski toques. You can also get a blanket on your lap or put it on the bench you sit on.

You can also wear wool socks and your winter boots. Better safe than sorry. Some hockey arenas also have overhead heaters installed in the stands if you feel colder. Choose a warm place there, and you will be comfortable enough.

What about the Players? Are they Cold at the Rink?

You might be wondering about the players. If it is so cold in the arenas, what is the situation at the rink, and are the players cold? Well, no, they are not. Instead, they are warm. It is because hockey is a highly physical game. Although the ice is cold, the tension and the nerves are enough to warm you up. All the running and the physical activity are a plus. So, you are sweating on the ice.

What Happens to the Quality of the Ice as the Game Goes on?

The cold temperatures are essential to maintain the ice quality throughout the game and keep it smooth enough for the players to play well. But still, ice quality keeps deteriorating as the game progresses, mainly due to the continuous activity.

What Happens to the Quality of the Ice as the Game Goes on

This is one of the most critical issues the NHL and the ice technicians must work on. They are continuously working on improving this regard by using newer technologies. The bad condition of the ice makes it difficult to carry on a smooth, good game. 

Do Arenas have Hot Drinks to Buy? 

The cold makes you think of eating warmer things, especially hot things. Consider enjoying the beautifully enthusiastic hockey game within the stadium with your favorite team and players in action in front of your eyes and sipping a large mug of hot chocolate.

Do Arenas have Hot Drinks to Buy

What would be a better break from all the monotonous tiring everyday routine? Anyways, can you buy hot drinks at arenas? Yes, you can. The professional and recreational arenas offer various food and drinks for the spectators during the game. The prices are usually higher in professional arenas than in recreational ones. So, do watch out for your pocket.

What Things Impact Hockey Arena Temperature?

What Things Impact Hockey Arena Temperature

How cold the hockey arenas are will depend on various factors influencing a game’s temperature. So, let’s have a peek at those things impacting the temperature.

1. Sitting Location

More people in a larger or smaller rink will warm the temperature because a body emits heat. It does not make much difference, no matter how close you are to the ice.

Also, if you are far away from the ice and sitting on a higher rink, the temperature will be higher, and if there are many people, then the temperature will be better. The upper levels of the rink are warm as opposed to the lower level rink as they are close to the ice.

2. Outdoors and Indoors

Few hockey games are outdoors, so that it will depend on the outside weather. The colder the weather, the older the temperature.

3. Outside Weather and Heating Measures

Weather directly impacts some ice rinks: the colder outside, the more complex the rink. Advanced ice rinks have heating systems that maintain a steady temperature and heat the rink when cold outside, setting a balanced temperature between energy and comfort.

The ice rink’s temperature and rinkside sets between 50 ○ F – 60 ○ F.

4. Rink Design

Determining the rink temperature is difficult because each rink is designed differently. Some are larger, while others are small.

Larger rinks with more advanced heating temperature sets in high professional games give warm and cozy feelings, as per NHL directions.

Also, some rinks directly impact the weather outside and become cold. I remember some rinks felt colder in winter than in summer.

5. Air Ducts

Sitting in an open area or a duct will make you more liable to cold. However, if you are sitting in a closed area packed with many people, you will have a low chance of getting a cold as they will keep you warm.

Whereas, if you are sitting close to ice rinks, where there are fewer people, or in an open area, prepare for feeling cold but make sure that you dress cozy and warm.


And here we conclude. The hockey arenas are cold, so if you watch a hockey game, you should dress accordingly to avoid discomfort. The recreational areas are colder than the professional ones, so you need more layers of clothing there. Good luck with watching your first real ice hockey game out there! Yes, to an amazingly fantastic enjoyment you will cherish throughout your life!

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Austin Taylor

Who is Austin Taylor?

Meet Austin Taylor, your go-to source for everything ice hockey! With a passion for the sport that’s as deep as the ice itself, Austin Taylor brings you concise, expert insights and nitty-gritty details on all things hockey. From gear reviews to strategy breakdowns, Austin Taylor is your trusted guide to navigating the exhilarating world of ice hockey. Get ready to lace up your skates and dive into the game with Austin Taylor as your ultimate companion.

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