National Ice Centre

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The National Ice Centre
National Ice Centre Master Logo.png
4-2-18 Ice Arena 0738 (Large).jpg
The Olympic Rink at the National Ice Centre
LocationBolero Square
The Lace Market
Nottingham NG1 1LA
United Kingdom
OwnerNottingham City Council
Broke ground1993
Opened1 April 2000 (2000-04-01)
Construction cost£43 million
Nottingham Panthers (2000–present)

The National Ice Centre (NIC) is located in Nottingham, England. It is situated just east of the city centre, close to the historic Lace Market area. The NIC was the first twin Olympic-sized (60m x 30m) ice pad facility in the UK, "heralding a new era in the development of ice skating".[1] Incorporating the Nottingham Arena (since January 2016 re-branded as the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham), the NIC is a combined live entertainment and leisure venue.

The first ice rink (housed within the Arena) was opened on 1 April 2000 by Olympic Gold Medalist, Jayne Torvill. The second Olympic Rink was opened the following year, on 7 April 2001.[1]



The National Ice Centre was constructed on the site of the former Nottingham Ice Stadium, which opened in 1939 and was showing its age. Plans to replace the stadium were first announced in September 1995. The estimated cost of replacement was £13 million, part of which was to come from National Lottery funds. The plans were unveiled in October 1996, by which time the British Olympic Association were in support of the proposal.

Several buildings were demolished to make way for the new ice centre; this included an Art Deco warehouse and "The Old Cricket Players" pub, which was initially planned to be spared. The former Ice Stadium closed in March 2000, and by May 2000 was described as "nearly demolished", with four skip loads of demolition rubble being removed from the site every day.[2][3] This had been the former training ground for Olympic ice dancing champions Torvill and Dean (Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean). The square in front of the new building was named 'Bolero Square' to honour their achievements.

During excavation for the new building in July 1998, a rare 1,100-year-old Saxon jug was found, which is on display at the Nottingham Castle Museum. A 19th-century graveyard was also found under the car park, from which the bodies were then exhumed.


The centre was officially opened on 1 April 2000 by Olympic Gold Medalist, Jayne Torvill; with the first public skating sessions taking place the same month. The second phase of the project – the 'family rink' – was scheduled to be completed by May–June 2001, but opened ahead of schedule, on 7 April 2001.[4][1] The final cost of the project was £43 million,[1] 10% of which came from the lottery – one of the highest grants awarded.

HM The Queen visited the National Ice Centre and Nottingham Arena on 31 July 2002.[5]


Opened in April 2000, the Arena doubles as an Olympic-sized ice rink and a concert venue, in which case the ice is boarded over and the seating and staging are converted to suit the event. The seating capacity of the Arena is 7,500 for ice sports and 10,000 for concerts.[6]

The Olympic Rink was the second Olympic-sized ice pad to be opened, in April 2001. Sometimes referred to as the 'family rink', this is where the public ice skating sessions and fun family events are accommodated.

Incorporating these two ice pads, the NIC is used for a range of ice sports activities: ice hockey, figure skating, ice dancing, speed skating and synchronized skating. As well as encouraging absolute beginners to participate in these ice sports, there are many elite ice skaters training at the NIC.[1]

Inside the NIC Arena before the 2007 EIHL Play Off Final

Nottingham Panthers[edit]

The Arena is home to the Nottingham Panthers ice hockey team. Founded in 1946, it was disbanded in 1960 and reformed 20 years later.

The Panthers have won eight Challenge Cup finals in the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) since its formation in 2003. They have also won five out of eight EIHL play-off finals during the same period (2003-2017).[7]

In January 2017, the Nottingham Panthers became the first British ice hockey team to win a European trophy in the Continental Cup.[8] This in turn led to qualification in Europe's Champions Hockey League in 2017, where they reached the last 16.[9]

GB Speed Skating Squad[edit]

The National Ice Skating Association (NISA) has designated the National Ice Centre as a Centre of Excellence for Short Track Speed Skating and it is the training ground for the GB Short Track Speed Skating Squad.[1] Preparations for the 2018 Winter Olympics took place at the NIC prior to the squad flying out to PyeongChang at the end of January 2018. [10]

The 2017 triple ISU World Champion, Elise Christie, is a member of the GB Short Track Speed Skating Squad. Elise broke the 500m short track speed skating world record on 13 November 2016 in Salt Lake City, USA.[11] This achievement has been recognised by the NIC through the unveiling of a venue banner describing her as the "fastest woman on ice".[12]

Ice Stars[edit]

The award-winning TV documentary series, Ice Stars,[13] was filmed at the National Ice Centre. Commissioned by CBBC, this series showcased the various disciplines of a group of young ice skaters at the NIC. There have been a total of three series of Ice Stars to date; the first series aired in 2015.

The show featured young ice hockey players, speed skaters, teams from the Nottingham Synchronized Skating Academy (NSSA), and members of the NIC Figure Skating & Ice Dance Academy. The NIC has invested time and resources to support the production of Ice Stars in a bid to revive interest in ice skating around the UK.

Ice Stars is classified as a Live-action programme in the BBC children's TV programmes list.

Green accreditation[edit]

The National Ice Centre is an Industry Green accredited venue,[14] committed to significantly reducing energy consumption. The facility takes into consideration the energy usage and the behaviour and activities of all staff, contractors and customers that visit the venue.[15]

The environmental impact is managed in terms of:

On Saturday 22 April 2017, the NIC participated in Earth Day 2017. On this day "the NIC generated all its energy from the sun for one hour via solar panels – the average energy used in one hour on a Saturday at the venue is 500 KWh, this is equivalent to 40 hairdryers being used for 30 minutes every day for a whole year!" An ice skating discount was offered on the day to customers who travelled to the venue via environmentally friendly means such as public transport or on foot.[16]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "About the NIC". Archived from the original on 14 August 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  2. ^ Brunton, John (29 March 2000). "Centre Stage: Torvill to open ice complex". Nottingham Evening Post. Retrieved 22 December 2013.(subscription required)
  3. ^ Brunton, John (15 May 2000). "It's gone but not forgotten". Nottingham Evening Post. Retrieved 22 December 2013.(subscription required)
  4. ^ Brunton, John (28 March 2000). "PROMOTERS HOPE TO ATTRACT A GALAXY OF TOP STAR NAMES TO PULL IN THE CROWDS AT THE CITY'S NEW ICE STADIUM". Nottingham Evening Post. Retrieved 22 December 2013.(subscription required)
  5. ^ "Venue Information: Capital FM Arena Nottingham". The Gig Cartel. Archived from the original on 9 June 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  6. ^ Arena Capacity
  7. ^ "The History of the Nottingham Panthers"
  8. ^ "BBC Sport: Nottingham Panthers win Continental Cup"
  9. ^ "BBC Sport: Nottingham Panthers in Champions Hockey League"
  10. ^ "Inspirational farewell for Olympic Short Track Speed Skating athletes"
  11. ^ "Elise Christie: GB speed skater breaks 500m world record in Salt Lake City". 13 November 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  12. ^ "NIC adds Elise Christie to its Gallery of Legends"
  13. ^
  14. ^ Green Archived 29 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "NIC & Motorpoint Arena Nottingham Environmental Statement"
  16. ^ "NIC has saved thousands by 'Thinking Green'"

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°57′10″N 1°8′22″W / 52.95278°N 1.13944°W / 52.95278; -1.13944