PELHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — This Friday, the Birmingham Bulls will be taking the ice at Pelham Civic Center for their season home-opener. They’ll play in front of their home crowd at full capacity for the first time since 2019.
“I’m excited. We have a lot of new faces in town,” Bulls Head Coach Craig Simchuk said about the upcoming season. “A lot of guys moved up, moved on. We tip our hats to them. This will just be a great opportunity for these guys to step into new roles here. It’s going to be an exciting start.”
Coach Simchuk and the players on the Bulls roster said they’re just excited to get in front of their fans again.
“It’s unbelievable the building gets loud, a lot of noise,” Simchuk said. “The fans feel like they’re right on top of you. There are a lot of high quality performers. The players are playing a professional sport here. There’s also some rowdiness that the fans get to see,” he said alluding to the physical scuffles often seen on the ice.
Dave Nippard is new to the club but is no stranger to playing in Pelham. Until this year, he played for the Huntsville Havoc, an in-state rival.
“It’s unbelievable, especially with these fans, I’d rather be in a Bulls uniform than any other uniform, so this is a treat,” Nippard said. “I think you fit five or six thousand in here – it feels like ten or twelve thousand.”
CBS 42’s Landon Wexler visited the Pelham Civic Center and got some advice on his hockey stick swing. Watch the full story in the player above.
The Bulls face off against the Knoxville Ice Bears at 7:30 p.m. Fans can get tickets to Friday’s home opener and their other games this season here.