Lately, I’ve been contemplating writing a post dedicated to my favorite sport, hockey. I know it may not be travel per se, but it does offer a glimpse into Russian culture. In the full interest of this post, I have only attended Dynamo Moscow games (save for one preseason game between Spartak Moscow and Dynamo Minsk, albeit at Dynamo Moscow’s rink), so I cannot fully speak for CSKA Moscow and Spartak. Tickets are cheap, and I’ve only paid about $4-7 for each; playoff tickets are more expensive, but at $50 for fantastic seating, it still is far cheaper than NHL games back home. If there’s any doubts about the quality of the games, rest assured, it’s awesome hockey, and I personally prefer it over the NHL-there’s more skill and speed involved. The atmosphere also is far better given that the Dynamo ultras fill the rink with their chants. (As proof of this, they memorably were chanting nonstop for the final eight minutes of the penultimate home game, a 6-1 defeat to the eventual champions SKA St. Petersburg. No matter what, they are absolutely loyal to the team.) Another fun aspect is having the cheerleaders there. Yes, it does pander to the male fans and yes, it’s an attempt to sell sex, but I will concede that they do provide some extra energy at the rink. Overall, if anybody wants to take part in Russian culture, I highly, highly recommend checking out a game!
The first five pictures here are from the 2014-15 season, at the old Luzhniki stadium (which Spartak Moscow now resides as the main tenant). The next three come from the preseason Chernyshev Cup tournament, where I witnessed Spartak shutout Minsk, at the brand new VTB Arena (metro Avtozavodskaya). Finally, the remaining pictures are from the various games I’ve been to. Hope you enjoy the pictures!