Sheffield Steelers


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1991 (29 years old)

Ice Hockey

Motorpoint Arena
(13,500 Capacity)

Jersey or Equipment Clearart

Broughton Lane, Sheffield


UK Elite Ice Hockey League

Last Edit
smudgie: 25/Jun/20
Home / Sport / Ice Hockey / UK Elite Ice Hockey League / Sheffield Steelers

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The Sheffield Steelers is a British ice hockey club, from Sheffield, England. It was formed in 1991 (see 1991 in sport) and plays its home games at the Sheffield Arena. It is currently a member of the Elite Ice Hockey League. The club's main (title) sponsor is Sheffield Window Centre.

Ice Hockey existed in amateur form in Sheffield, but the sport began its return to an era of arenas and stadium size crowds with the opening of the Sheffield Arena in 1991 and the creation of the Sheffield Steelers — the ice hockey team that was to occupy the new arena. The Sheffield Arena was built as part of the city's facilities for the staging of the World Student Games, and is a sizeable stadium originally seating 8,500 and located close to the city centre. Ronnie Wood and David Gardener-Brown were at the helm as the Marketing Director at the club and set about promoting ice hockey to a city raised on the footballing success of Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday. Wood had a specific target, seeking to attract children and families to the city's new sporting Arena. As he stated in an interview in Liam Sluyter's A Game of Three Halves (Mainstream Publishing, 1998) "we were sending guys around schools. We wrote to all the schools in Sheffield and said "Bring the kids, see the Arena, sit down, experience the whole thing" ". They also began taking players to local football matches and parading them around the ground with mascots in an attempt to pull in football fans too. Another marketing ploy was to give certain players nicknames to help the crowd associate with the new (and as yet unknown) players. This was an idea hatched by the announcer Dave Simms.

The Steelers were named in honour of Sheffield's industrial past, much like the American football team of the same name based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the sharing of nicknames are merely a coincidence. The American football team actually predates Sheffield's team by 58 years and was already popular worldwide due to their dominance in the National Football League in the 1970s. Sheffield and Pittsburgh are considered sister cities.

The Sheffield Steelers were the first ever fully professional ice hockey team in Great Britain, and O'Brien suggested that there was a lot of resentment from the followers of other hockey teams who saw them as a "cheque book hockey club" able to buy whoever they chose. Likewise, Sluyter questions the authenticity of the majority of Steelers fans in the club's early days. Though he admitted that it was a generalisation, Sluyter suggested hockey fans of teams like Cardiff, Fife and Nottingham were ice hockey fans first and foremost, while Steelers' supporters were only Steelers fans, and knew very little of ice hockey outside of Sheffield. However, it made little difference as Sheffield began breaking several British ice hockey attendance records, and in March of that year added an extra 1,200 seats to the Arena to meet the growing demand.

Sheffield Steelers had begun their first ever season in English Division One of the British Hockey League. One year later Sheffield Steelers won promotion into the British Premier League, before going on to win this in 1995 — the last team to do so before the formation of the new British Ice Hockey Super League (ISL) that year.

On Sunday 3 December 2006, the Steelers played in their 1000th ever game. The game was against the Basingstoke Bison at the Hallam FM Arena, for which special orange jerseys had been made for the match. The Steelers lost the game 3–2 and the jerseys were all auctioned off at the game.

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Stadium or Home

Motorpoint Arena Sheffield (originally Sheffield Arena and formerly Hallam FM Arena) is an arena in Sheffield, England. It is situated near Rotherham, Sheffield City Centre, Attercliffe, Meadowhall and the Centertainment.

The arena opened as Sheffield Arena and was renamed Hallam FM Arena, but returned to its original name as of 1 November 2007. On 9 August 2010, Sheffield Arena was officially renamed Motorpoint Arena Sheffield, after the Derby based car sales company invested £1 million to rename the venue. It is used for big name concerts and sporting events.

Constructed at a cost of £34 million, it was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 30 May 1991.

The first concert took place that evening, Paul Simon playing as part of his "Born at the Right Time" tour. The Arena then took on the role of Gymnastics Hall for the 1991 World Student Games which were held in the city and which prompted the investment in, and development of, both the arena and nearby Don Valley Stadium.

The arena was the location for the Labour Party's 1992 Sheffield Rally. Attended by over 10,000 party members and the entire shadow cabinet. Held just before that year's general election, which Labour was widely expected to win, the event is often seen as a factor in the party's defeat. While the event was seen as a success to those within the hall, many commentators, and Labour politicians, viewing it as triumphalist in nature. It has though been asserted that the event had negligible impact on the outcome, with a fall in the party's support having already occurred.

Attendance for all events at the venue has totalled around 7 million since its opening. It has a maximum capacity of 13,500.



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