Ice Arena Wales
Ice Arena Wales (IAW) (Welsh: Canolfan Iâ Cymru) in Cardiff, Wales, currently known as the Viola Arena for sponsorship reasons, is an ice hockey rink in the Cardiff International Sports Village. It opened on 12 March 2016, and has two ice rinks and seating for 3,088 spectators.
The Ice Arena Wales in February 2016
|Former names||Ice Arena Wales (2016–18)|
|Location||Cardiff International Sports Village, Cardiff Bay|
|Broke ground||29 May 2014|
|Opened||12 March 2016|
|Construction cost||£17M (approximately)|
|Main contractors||Kier Group|
It is home to the Cardiff Devils ice hockey team, who play in the professional British Elite Ice Hockey League, which is the top tier of ice hockey in the UK. It replaced the Cardiff Arena, which was close to the current Viola site. The Cardiff Arena (affectionately named the Big Blue Tent) was a temporary structure, built after the Wales National Ice Rink was demolished in September 2006. The Cardiff Devils played their first game at the arena against Belfast Giants on 12 March 2016.
Cardiff Council had named the operator Planet Ice as the company they had chosen to build a new ice rink to replace the Cardiff Arena, which is a temporary structure in the Cardiff International Sports Village. Work was due to begin in early 2011, subject to planning, with the ice arena to be completed by February 2012. Planet Ice would have run the rink as well as design and build it.
However, by July 2011, Cardiff Council said in statement "We were unable to find the comfort that we required from them to show the ice rink would now be progressed. As a result it is being recommended that the executive cancels the current tender. Instead it is proposed to deliver a new ice arena, as a priority, within a new waterfront tender which would go out this summer." The contract to build the arena was eventually won by the Wigan-based developers, Greenbank Partnerships. The cost of the arena is approximately £16 – £17 million and will form part of a larger £250M development, which will include a 32-storey indoor ski slope which will contain a hotel and apartments, and viewing platform. The development will also contain cafes, shops, office space, apartments and townhouses.
The last game in the Cardiff Arena (also known as the Big Blue Tent) was played against Coventry Blaze on 27 February 2016. The first game in Ice Arena Wales was Belfast Giants on 12 March 2016.
The IAW has also hosted boxing on three occasions, the first being on 16 July 2016.
The IAW has hosted 3 Cage Warriors events, starting with Cage Warriors 97 on 29 September 2018. Cage Warriors 100, and Cage Warriors 104 were also held at the Ice Arena Wales, on 8 December 2018 and 27 April 2019 respectively. The next event to be held at the IAW will be Jack Shore's defense of his bantamweight title on 12 October 2019.
- "Planet Ice to build Cardiff rink". BBC News. 28 August 2010. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
- "Cardiff to review ice rink tender". BBC News. 13 July 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
- "Bay ice arena gets planning boost". BBC News. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
- "BoxRec". boxrec.com. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
- Staff, Cage Warriors (29 September 2018). "CW97 results - Jack Shore brings home win for Wales". Cage Warriors. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- Staff, Cage Warriors (8 December 2018). "CW100 results - Shore brings world gold to Wales". Cage Warriors. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- Staff, Cage Warriors (27 April 2019). "CW104 results - Shore leads the home country domination for Wales". Cage Warriors. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- Staff, Cage Warriors (27 April 2019). "We're back in Cardiff on October 12th!". Cage Warriors. Retrieved 30 April 2019.