IHockey: Croatia's Roman amphitheatre to host ice hockey

An ancient Roman amphitheatre in the northern Croatian port of Pula is preparing to host a different kind of gladiators -- ice hockey players, an official said on Tuesday.

"I'm certain that images of ice hockey being played in (Pula's) Arena, where the gladiators used to fight, will tour the world," the president of Medvescak Zagreb ice hockey club Damir Gojanovic, who is organising the event to boost the sport and tourism, told reporters.

The club will play Slovenia's Olimpija Ljubljana on September 14 and two days later Austria Vienna Capitals, within the EBEL league which consists of clubs from Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovenia.

An additional challenge for the organisers will be the warm weather in September in Pula, on the Adriatic coast, where average temperatures are between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius (77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit).

The Pula amphitheatre, built in the 1st century AD, is the world's sixth largest. It is believed that it accommodated some 20,000 people in its glory days. Today the space is used for summer events, hosting movie festivals, operas and rock concerts.

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