No game? No problem!
In Moscow? Your team doesn’t have a game? You’ve done the tour of Red Square and want some more hockey-flavoured entertainment? No problem. From beer to monuments, we’ve got something for you.
1) Russian Hockey Hall of Fame
It’s been a long time in coming, but as Russian hockey marks its 70th anniversary the country has finally opened its Hall of Fame. An old factory building next to the Moscow Ice Palace that is currently hosting the World Championship has been converted into a museum stuffed full of the medals and jerseys of the biggest stars of Soviet and Russian hockey. Although much of the information is only in Russian, there are plenty of evocative exhibits that recall the game’s development here and around the world. There’s also the Hall of Fame itself, commemorating the first 146 players and coaches to earn recognition for their contribution to the Red Machine’s road to glory.
2) Pay your respects
In recent years, the Russian national team has been known to prepare for big tournaments with a trip to lay a wreath at the tomb of the great Valeri Kharlamov. Fans of one of the stars of the Summit Series can pay their own respects with a trip to the Kuntsevo cemetery, deep in the Eastern suburbs. It’s not the easiest of journeys, though – a metro ride to Kuntsevskaya then bus number 732 to the cemetery – so many may prefer a visit to Vagakovskoye cemetery (m. Ulitsa 1905 Goda), last resting place of three legends from different eras of Soviet hockey – Arkadi Chernyshev, Anatoli Tarasov and Viktor Tikhonov. Tikhonov is commemorated by a brand-new monument unveiled last fall on the first anniversary of his death.
3) Retro table hockey
The Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines has come a long way. When the World Championship was last held here in 2007, it was a small project housed in a basement beneath a student dormitory out in the suburbs. Today it has a prime downtown site on Ulitsa Kuznetsky Most (m. Kuznetsky Most / Lubyanka). Visitors collect a pocketful of clunky Soviet-era 15-kopeck coins and get to test their skills at a nostalgic collection of 80s gaming machines – and the collection of coin-operated hockey tables is one of the stars of the show. It might lack the flashy graphics of modern-day games consoles, but going head-to-head with your friends on one of these beasts is a fascinating challenge.
4) The Art of Sport
Moscow's Institute of Russian Realist Art on Derbenskaya Embankment (m. Paveletskaya) has reprised the sport-themed exhibition it staged in London, Moscow and Sochi in the run-up to the 2014 Winter Olympics. In the Soviet era, artists were encouraged to create images of stalwart, healthy citizens of the socialist state - and sport played a big part in that. But the collection doesn't just feature athletic heroes: there's also room for a lighter look at sports and games in the drawings of artists like Leonid Soyfertis, some of whose works can also be seen in the tourist centre in the fanzone at the Moscow Ice Palace.
5) And finally, that well-earned beer...
The craft beer revolution has come to Russia and local drinkers are revelling in a host of new microbreweries putting together specialist beers one can add to the Krusovice beer fans enjoy at the arena and fan zone. And, in a country that loves sport, it’s no surprise to find hockey fans among the brewers. Victory Art, a Moscow-based establishment, has come up with an IPA known as ‘Red Machine’. As you’d expect from a tribute to Russia’s hockey tradition, it’s a potent brew with a distinctive flavour and it’s powerful, hoppy aroma makes it stand out from the pack. It’s often available in Moscow’s craft bars – GlavPivMag, near the pond on Chistoprudny Bulvar (m. Chistiye Prudy / Turgenevskaya), Craft Republic on Maly Gnezdnikovsky Pereulok (m. Tverskaya / Pushkinskaya / Chekhovskaya) or the biker-themed Entuziast in a courtyard behind Stoleshnikov Pereulok (m. Teatralnaya / Kuznetsky Most) are all good bets. The former also has a shop and stays open until 3am, making it a good option to raise a glass to your team’s victory in the evening game.
For more information and ideas about things to see and do in Moscow, visit the tourist centre in the fanzone. English and Russian-speaking staff are on hand to help you with anything from navigating the Metro network to finding the nearest washroom.
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