A Warm Welcome for Hockey - Carolina Country

A Warm Welcome for Hockey

A sampling of ice rinks around the state

A Warm Welcome for Hockey

Although our ponds don’t often ice over in the winter, North Carolinians love a good hockey game. The state supports the Raleigh-based Carolina Hurricanes, part of the NHL, as well as minor league teams the Charlotte Checkers, Fayetteville Marksmen and Winston-Salem’s Carolina Thunderbirds.

But as it happens, it wasn’t ice, but fire that first brought hockey to the Tar Heel State. In 1956, a blaze destroyed the arena of the Baltimore Clippers. Representatives from Charlotte convinced the team to play out the rest of its season at the Charlotte Coliseum. The team made the move, and fans went wild.

“Thousands of people who didn’t know a goalie from a dasher board lined up their cars a mile or so on Independence Boulevard and all the other streets around the Coliseum, trying to get into the place,” said a Charlotte Observer article describing the response, according to the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

The warm welcome led the team to permanently relocate to Charlotte, and through a contest in the late ‘50s the team chose a new name: The Checkers. Learn more about the team at gocheckers.com.

Indoor ice rinks across NC

Inspired to strap on some skates? Whether beginner or pro, these indoor ice rinks across the state offer icy fun.

Carolina Ice Zone | Greenville

Home of ECU hockey and figure skating open to public skating.
carolinaicezone.com

Cleland Ice & Inline Skating Rinks | Fort Bragg

Year-round skating open to military and civilian patrons.
bit.ly/bragg-icerink

Extreme Ice Center | Indian Trail

Two NHL regulation rinks with public skating, hockey and figure skating lessons.
xicenter.com

Greensboro Ice House | Greensboro

Year-round public skating, youth and adult hockey and classes.
greensboroice.com

Orange County Sportsplex | Hillsborough

Youth and adult hockey, camps, classes and private lessons. 
trianglesportsplex.com

Pineville Ice House | Pineville

NHL-sized rink with pro shop and snack bar.
pinevilleice.com

Polar Ice House | Wake Forest

Two NHL regulation rinks with light and sound systems. 
icehousewakeforest.com

Wilmington Ice House | Wilmington

Public skating and parties plus hockey and figure skating lessons. 
wilmingtonice.com

Comments (1)

  • Your article about hockey was great! A few things were left out though... The Charlotte Checkers is an AHL team that is the minor league team feeding the NHL Carolina Hurricanes. Also another ice rink is the Extreme Ice in Indian Trail NC which is an indoor ice rink that has public skating. It is also home to the US Olympic Sled Hockey team. This is a team for players that have disabilities that make them unable to walk. This is a very cool game to see!

    Beth Davis | March 03, 2019 | reply

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