NHL Coming to Australia
After months of persistent rumours, it has finally been confirmed that Melbourne will host the first ever NHL games to be played in the southern hemisphere. The Arizona Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings will make the long trip down under for a two-game preseason series in September later this year.
The Global Series Melbourne 2023 is being supported by the Victorian State Government who rightly proclaim Melbourne to be the sports capital of Australia, and indeed one of the great sports and entertainment cities of the world.
A temporary ice rink will be constructed within Rod Laver Arena, better known for its role as centre court for the Australian Open Tennis tournament held each January. The retractable roof will remain closed.
Rod Laver Arena has proven itself as a world-class multi-sport stadium having previously hosted professional basketball, netball, the World Swimming Championships in 2007, and Commonwealth Games gymnastics in 2006 – in addition to being Melbourne’s premier major concert venue.
The two teams will reportedly travel to Australia on September 16th, and will have several practice sessions at the O’Brien Icehouse (home to Melbourne Ice and Melbourne Mustangs of the Australian Ice Hockey League) before games on Saturday September 23 and Sunday September 24.
Rod Laver Arena originally opened in 1988 but received a major renovation in 1995. Capacity is around 14,000 however this may be impacted by the construction of the rink, which will be similar logistically to an outdoor game. The build will take 12 days with equipment to be shipped to Melbourne from Toronto via Vancouver.
Tickets will be available via Ticketek and are expected to be in high demand.