I went to the wiener dog races and a hockey game broke out. And sometimes, during hockey, it rains teddy bears, too.
Around here, hockey nights go beyond the high-speed sliding and bashing we are used to seeing. There’s so much more on the ice and beyond. Down here, we do hockey right.
You probably don’t associate professional hockey with the home of sugar-white sand and salty warm Gulf breezes. Yet, the Pensacola Ice Flyers have called the Gulf Coast home since 2009. Drawing a loyal fan base from all around the region, Ice Flyer games are an exciting event for all ages with theme nights and meet-and-greets.
And around here, we do hockey our way. So yes, on any given game day, you might watch a pack of wiener dogs flopping across center ice in a race for treats. Or you could bump into Darth Vader and his Storm Troopers at the concession stand, or notice the players wearing special edition Star Wars jerseys. Or, in March, you can buy a T-Rex costume for the Dino races and try flopping around on the ice for yourself.
The Ice Flyers’ name has a double meaning too — it’s both a tribute to Pensacola’s heritage in Naval Aviation, as the home of the Blue Angels and National Naval Aviation Museum, and an homage to original owner Tim Kerr who played eleven seasons with the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers.
Calling their home “The Hangar” (aka The Pensacola Bay Center) the Ice Flyers are one of the top teams in the Southern Professional Hockey League and continually rank in the top three in attendance. Their four championships are tied for the most championships in league history. Not bad for Southerners, ay?
Between November and March, the Ice Flyers play 28 home games at The Hangar. Their rivals include the Huntsville Havoc, Birmingham Bulls and the Macon Mayhem.