Norfolk Admirals put on a great ice show

A trip to watch the Norfolk Admirals ice hockey team play is a night of competitive fun.

Celebrating 30 years on the ice, the Norfolk Admirals are a minor league professional hockey team competing at the AA level. They serve as the ECHL affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes; the team won the ECHL championships in 1991,1992 and 1998.

The fast-paced games are played in downtown Norfolk’s Scope Arena — the puck drops at 7 p.m. Once that happens, be prepared to pay close attention as players skate up and down, side to side.

Watching a minor league hockey game in person — close to the ice — provides an intimate view of the action.

When the Admirals score, the crowd jumps to its feet and cheers wildly. But during play, fans frequently are quiet, following the action on the ice. Sometimes, the referee gets an earful. These fans know the details of the game and are friendly enough to explain their objection.

Count Greg and Cory Fenske of Williamsburg among those fans; the two have attended games since 2012. The California natives, who came to Virginia via the U.S. Navy, said they never get tired of watching the puck and the fast action.

“We have three children — two are grown — and we started coming to have a date night,” said Cory, noting they married when they were 18.

Greg said it is an affordable date night, and the fans are friendly.

“And it is pretty relaxing,” he added.

Sometimes, the entire family comes as well, Cory said.

The overall fan base is multi-generational with an equal number of senior citizens, middle-aged and young adults. Because there is a thick sheet of ice involved, dress warmly — many fans dress in the Admirals’ team colors of navy blue and gold.

In addition to seeing game, be sure to check out the venue, Norfolk’s Scope. It was built in 1971, is a concrete monolithic dome with 24-flying buttresses, making it a Norfolk landmark. It is the world's largest reinforced thin-shell concrete dome.

Another hockey game experience not to be missed are the concessions. The $4 hot dog is fat and tasty. For a different twist, try the Crabbie Dog, a hot dog-shaped crab cake on a bun. Slightly blackened, no sauce is needed and there is little filler. Reed said it is Spectra Food’s (Scope’s food provider) effort to offer fresh ingredients.

Want to go?

Norfolk Admirals tickets range in cost from $7.50 to $29.50. For information about remaining home games, go to NorfolkAdmirals.com.

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