Hockey is a thrilling sport. It’s fast-paced, hard-hitting, and full of action. If you have never been to a game, or if it has been a while, and you aren’t sure what you need to wear, then you are in the right place.
What to wear to a hockey game does not have one answer for every occasion. Some people like to stick to specific attire, while others will select a dramatically different wardrobe.
It doesn’t matter if you are going to a casual game with your friends or if the corner office has invited you to attend a big game. This post covers all you need to know about what to wear to a hockey game.
While the stadiums have fancy systems to keep the ice rink cold, they also keep the entire stadium at a low temperature to ensure the ice is perfect for the hockey players.
If they didn’t do that, the ice could melt slightly, preventing the puck from sliding easily and could even cause injuries if the skates dig into the surface.
A typical hockey stadium temperature is somewhere between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 15 degrees Celsius). The NHL recommends that the temperature at the start is 60°F. The heat of the fans might raise that to 65°F by the end of the game.
Depending on what you are used to, 60°F might sound like a walk in the park or a chilly evening. Based on my experience, it can go either way, but generally speaking, you want to prepare for somewhat cold temperatures.
Even though the game can be exciting, with high-fives given all around and plenty of times clapping along, you will probably spend most of the game seated and stationary. That can make it feel quite cold.
It is a good idea to wear pants and long-sleeved shirts at a minimum to a hockey game. You can wear layered clothing, including an extra-light jacket, to take off or add on as needed. Everyone feels the temperature differently. It is up to you to prepare.
Don’t go too far with it. Quite often space is limited in the seats, and you don’t want your oversized coat to have to rest on the ground in a large stadium.
What Colors to Wear
Besides being prepared for the cooler temperatures, there is one other vital aspect to what to wear to a hockey game. And that is the colors you have on.
Sports games are all about supporting your team, home or away, and one way that fans do this is by wearing the appropriate color to show their favorite team. Before going to a hockey game, check out the colors both teams wear on their jerseys.
If you want to support one team, wear the color that matches theirs. Quite often, this is the home team. That also makes it much easier to show that support without getting hassled by other fans.
Sometimes you’ll see your favorite team when they are on the road. Some people proudly support the away team. They’ll wear the colors showing so, clap loudly against the home team’s defeat, and attract the attention and potential ridicule of the home fans surrounding them.
If you don’t have strong feelings, either way, you probably at least want to avoid wearing the away team’s colors. If you wear them, even without knowing, other fans might take you for an away fan and give you some grief.
Mostly, it’s just part of the fun of attending a hockey game. But sometimes, especially if the game is crucial or when it is between rivals fans can be harsh.
If you want to show your undying love for either team, there is one surefire way to do this. Purchase or borrow a jersey of the team you want to support.
It is common for people to wear jerseys of their favorite team, and even favorite players, to the game. Some people always have to get the newest official jersey, but others will wear whatever they can get their hands on.
Bottom line, pay attention to the colors you wear to the hockey game unless you don’t care and are alright with possibly getting heckled a bit.
Seat Location and Accompanying Guests
Another consideration worth accounting for is your seat’s location and who is joining you. Some seats have a different dress code than others, and some guests might warrant slightly different attire.
For the most part, hockey games of all types are casual events. You probably don’t want to wear pajamas or board shorts, not only because they’ll be too cold, but also because they are a bit underdressed for a public occasion.
Plenty of people wear a simple pairing of denim jeans with a t-shirt-like top and possibly a casual sweater on top. That sort of outfit is acceptable for almost every seat in the house, including at professional games.
But a small number of seats usually attract a bit more formal dress code. This includes club levels, executive suites, and premium seats directly behind the glass on the ice.
In these seats, it is normal to wear a bit nicer, more formal clothing. Some people will go all-out and wear things like a full suit with a tie or slacks and a formal blouse, while others will find a middle ground of fashionable jeans with a button-down shirt or higher-end sweater.
If you get invited to a game and aren’t sure of the seats, it’s a good idea to ask about them and what others will be wearing. Knowing the dress code is usually part of an invitation and being direct is a great way to ensure you match the group.
If you don’t feel it’s appropriate to ask, err on the slightly formal side especially if you think they might be nicer seats. This doesn’t mean showing up in a suit. That’s usually a bit too much.
It just means looking put together, something you wouldn’t mind wearing if you are on television. Because you might be.
If your seats are generic ones, anything from the rear lower level to the upper nose-bleeds, you can probably get away with just about anything. But it’s always nice to dress up a bit for the fun event anyway.
On the club levels or in a suite, most people do dress up a bit. After all, it is an exciting and often expensive night out.
Let’s Talk Footwear
You might not think about this one, but footwear is a crucial component of what to wear to a hockey game. Not only will you likely have to walk far from the parking lot or train station, but you’re also going to be walking around the stadium to use the restroom and get food or drinks.
On top of that, some of the stairs inside major stadiums can be steep. Even without an irrational fear of heights, climbing up into the top deck can make almost anyone weary.
It’s wise to wear footwear that you are comfortable walking in. Be ready to walk long distances, climb multiple flights of stairs repeatedly, and jump on your feet when they score a big goal.
The ground at stadiums can be a bit disgusting. So don’t wear something you need to take off. It might be alright to go barefoot at a wedding party on the dance floor for a bit, but going barefoot through a beer-infused, candy-covered stadium mess is another story.
Finally, the last aspect you want to consider when deciding what to wear to a hockey game is transportation. Parts of the hockey season are played when outdoor temperatures can be frigidly cold, snowy, or rainy.
Many stadiums have parking close to the stadium, but when thousands upon thousands of people gather in one place, you’ll likely have to walk a decent distance. Or wait for multiple trains to pass.
Be prepared for the outside weather when going to a hockey game. This includes your footwear, but also might mean you should bring a hat and gloves if the temperatures are cold enough.
Hopefully, you can find a decent place to stash everything during the game. If it’s cold and snowy out, chances are many people will have to do the same.
What to Wear to a Hockey Game: Wrap Up
Hopefully, you’re feeling confident and know what to wear to a hockey game by now. You should be prepared for cooler temperatures in the 50s and 60s at a minimum, with layers to ensure the most comfort.
Wear the colors of the team you want to support, or at least avoid wearing the away teams’ colors unless you are alright being mistaken for their fan. Do your best to match the attire of the seat you are using, including possibly somewhat formal wear for club level or suites.
And finally, be prepared with solid, comfortable footwear to walk long distances and go up and down many flights of stairs. And don’t forget to be prepared for the walk to and from the car.