How temperature at Arena got Sheffield Steelers hot under the collar

Too cold? In an ice rink?
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You can't please all the people all the time - and Sheffield Steelers and their landlords are no different to anyone else.

In last weekend's programme notes, owner Tony Smith acknowledged supporters' concern over temperatures at the Arena.

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"Some may say it's fine (it's an ice rink) but a number are telling me it's cold" he wrote.

"I can confirm we are working closely with the Arena to make your match night environment more comfortable."

He promised air circulating fans would be turned down and were looking at a "slight increase in the ambient temperature so that there is no chill in the air."

It all backfired, unfortunately.

While the home team themselves were hot stuff, for some reason during the Steelers v Nottingham Panthers game, the Arena became like a greenhouse, going up several degrees rather than a single intended one.

A packed out Arena for Sheffield Steelers. Picture: Garry DickinsonA packed out Arena for Sheffield Steelers. Picture: Garry Dickinson
A packed out Arena for Sheffield Steelers. Picture: Garry Dickinson
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Club photographer Dean Woolley could barely focus on his camera work with sweat pouring down his forehead.

Some of the Steeler players didn't find the climate agreeable, either.

Brandon McNally said: "The ice wasn't too great, I think some guys were not happy about it.

"I don't want to point any fingers, but I think the fans are complaining that it is too warm and I think we could do with it a little bit colder.

"Maybe turn it down a bit?"

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Smith said the task of keeping fans toasty and the pad chilled was a "work in progress."

Generally, it's accepted that a rink's ambient air temperature should aim for between 50-60°F (10-15°C) while the ice temperature should be around 24°F (-4,4 °C.)

But plenty of factors are in play.

Fans will be colder if they sit near the ice or near the concourse close to the exit-entrance doors or the curtain end.

The more fans there are in the rink - and Sheffield leads the league with an average of 5,353 through the door - the warmer it is likely to be.

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Today Steelers admitted last Saturday's experiment hadn't worked and the situation would be addressed for Sunday's home game against Fife Flyers.

A spokesman said: "We will find the right balance. We don't want our fans sitting in a fridge but on the other hand, it can't be like a beach in Benidorm."