What Do You Wear To An Ice Hockey Game?

Posted on September 7, 2022 by Dan Kent
Sidney Crosby

Wearing the proper clothes or attire to a hockey game is essential for enjoying and showing support for your team. Out of any event or professional sport, hockey is the most important to wear the proper clothes due to the cold conditions in the rink or arena.

It is best to wear warm or winter clothes to a hockey game to protect you from getting cold and there are also ways to stay warm while supporting your team. Most hockey fans wear a jersey with layers underneath or will wear winter clothes with team-matching colors.

The crowd
Photo by Sreejith Kulamgarath under CC BY 2.0

From the era of people congregating at ponds to watch loosely organized games of hockey to professional leagues being developed with more advanced technology, it is still important to know what to wear while watching hockey. One constant in both scenarios is that hockey spectators have always tried their best to stay warm by bundling up.

Temperature Difference Between NHL and Local Hockey Games

Championship Game

The average temperature for an NHL hockey game is roughly 65°F, which allows fans to be more selective in what they wear. The arenas in the NHL are warmer because they have unique technology under the ice to keep the ice frozen at warmer surrounding temperatures.

Minor league ice rinks or even local rinks will be cooler by about 10° which requires warmer clothing to stay comfortable. Typically, fans will wear jerseys at NHL games and more winter clothes at lower-level hockey games.

Again, this purely has to do with the temperature, but additionally, it is harder to purchase lower-level hockey team apparel than for NHL teams for example.

Do Most People That Attend Hockey Games Wear Jerseys?


Most hockey fans wear a jersey of the team they are rooting for because it shows direct support and affection for the team which other fans and players love to see. Wearing a jersey is the perfect combination of ensuring you stay warm throughout the duration of the game while also showing strong support for the player or teams you are cheering for.

Besides a jersey, another great way to stay warm while supporting your team is to wear a winter hat or other winter clothes that have the team’s logo visible. This can be a winter hat, jacket, pants, or anything that represents the team you are rooting for.

The Importance of Bundling Up

The average temperature of a hockey rink is between 50-60°F, which means it is critical to wear warm clothes so you can enjoy the game. Many hockey fans that don’t wear a jersey will wear winter clothes including:

Wearing a T-shirt and shorts to a hockey game will make you feel as cold as the ice hockey surface itself. Wearing the proper attire as mentioned is critical for enjoying the game.

In addition, it is smart to bring a hot beverage such as tea or hot chocolate to the game to help you stay warm. Oftentimes professional or local hockey games will serve hot food and drinks which is another great method to stay happy throughout the game.

I would also suggest bringing feet or hand warmers to youth, local, or minor league games as it is much colder than the NHL environment. Wearing closed-toe shoes is also essential because cold feet equate to your entire body feeling chilly which is not pleasant in the slightest.

Depending on the arena or venue for the hockey game, it also could be smart to bring padded portable seats, especially if the viewing area is metal bleachers. The bleachers absorb the cold of the arena so bringing a portable seat cushion would be a heads-up play.

If I Don’t Have a Jersey, Should I Wear the Colors of the Home Team?

hockey stadium

Your best bet if you do not have any official team apparel is to wear the same or similar colors of the team you are rooting for, so you feel like you are wearing the right thing. This is a good way to compromise between sitting warm while also aligning your support with the team you are cheering for.

Especially at local games in colder rinks, it is essential to wear your warmest clothes and a jersey isn’t going to cut it. A great example of a non-jersey hockey game fit could be a winter hat, long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, and jeans.

Sticking to the basics during a hockey game is your best option for staying warm and enjoying the game. Even though there are a lot of different clothes to wear and accessories to bring, it is not very complicated, and the process gets easier as you attend more and more hockey games.

What Should I Wear If My Team is Away at an Opposing Stadium?

In my opinion, I would wear something neutral to not identify with the opposing team that you are supporting because many hockey fans can be unpleasant and offer to unlock words that would make your experience at the game worse. By no means am I telling you that you can’t wear your team’s colors or a jersey, I would just prepare for people to give you a little bit of a hard time.

Visually representing your team in an away setting is a strong move and truly shows your passion for the sport and team which hockey fans do respect. So if you don’t mind people potentially calling you out, then give your away team the green light.

Why Dressing Up for Hokey Games is Fun?

Hockey Fan

Wearing the proper attire (jerseys or accessories of the hockey team and warm clothes) makes the experience of attending the game awesome. Fans of the same team, players, and coaches appreciate it when you show your support for the team as it boosts the team morale during the game.

At professional games, wearing clothes that support the home team will make for a fun and easy conversation with many like-minded people and can lead to friendships with many people at the game. Along with your friends and family, it is enjoyable to watch the game with people you share similar values and are wearing similar clothes with.

You will meet a lot of people at the game that is wearing similar attire because there is a mutual commonality that allows you to connect with many people and more importantly enjoy the game in spirit!

What Else Should I Bring to A Hockey Game?


Besides wearing the right clothes to a hockey game as I have outlined, there are other fun and interesting things you can bring to most hockey games to enhance your experience. A cowbell is a classic accessory you can bring into youth hockey games to get the players and crowd going.

A flag or banner with the team logo is another great item you can add to your apparel except it sticks out even more and also gets other fans inspired. The NHL is strict on what you can and can’t bring into the arena, but it is generally safe to also bring posters into youth hockey games as well.

Wearing the right clothes and bringing the proper accessories enhances the experience of attending hockey games which are the greatest sport to watch in person no matter what level it may be. If you live in a hockey town and want to start getting into the game, it’s time to start rearranging your drawers and get excited!

Dan Kent

About the author

Growing up in a hockey hotbed (Calgary, Alberta. And yes, I'm an Oiler fan), I decided to put my love and knowledge of the game to work. I started at five and am still playing today into my early 30s. By acquiring Brave Stick Hockey and rebranding it to Big Shot Hockey in 2023, I plan to teach people about this great game and educate them on the best equipment and history of the game. On a career level, I am in finance, running one of the largest financial websites in Canada, Stocktrades.ca.

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