If you were to visit Boise 25 years ago, there would have been very few options for ice skating (actually, none). But now there are plenty of places to ice skate or play hockey in Boise — we have three sheets of ice — and there is even a pro hockey team in Boise. Here is everything you need to know about watching or playing hockey in Boise:
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If you are looking to play hockey in Boise (or learning to play hockey in Boise) there are quite a few options. You can play adult hockey at both Idaho Ice World and CenturyLink Arena, and there are many different leagues — for both adults and children.
Adult Hockey Boise
Adults leagues take place year-round, and they have spaces for beginners and experts, and everything in between. Because there are two sheets of ice year-round, and another sheet of ice for half the year, there are plenty of opportunities to play hockey in Boise.
Idaho Ice World Adult Hockey – Boise, Idaho
Adult hockey at Idaho Ice World is run, for the most part, by Boise Parks and Recreation. Leagues are formed multiple times a year, and there are A, B, C, and women’s leagues.
There are also multiple opportunities for pick-up hockey through the year. As you get to know people, you will find that some people or teams rent the ice and create their own leagues.
There is also a women’s league that runs from early Fall to Late Spring each year. While it is an “open” women’s league, it is considered a C-level hockey league.
Learn to Play Hockey
You can also take Learn to Play Hockey if you’re looking for some instruction before you commit to playing for the first time. There is also a Beginner’s Hockey League that begins at multiple times through the year, specifically for people who are brand new to playing the sport.
CenturyLink Arena Adult Hockey – Boise, Idaho
There are also adult hockey leagues at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, run mainly by the Treasure Valley Adult Hockey Association (TVA Hockey). This is the same arena that the Idaho Steelheads play on, so it’s exciting to play in such a large venue.
The hockey leagues at CenturyLink Arena include A, Upper B, Lower B, and C leagues — all co-ed.
All Boise leagues require membership with USA Hockey.
Boise Youth Hockey
Youth hockey in Boise also has multiple different groups you can play with.
The Boise Youth Amateur Hockey Association (BYAHA), Junior Steelheads, and City of Boise run their own leagues. Although the BYAHA mainly caters to competitive hockey, the Idaho Ice World leagues are both competitive and for beginners.
Like many youth hockey leagues, some of the leagues are travel teams and some of them compete only at home. As you get to know the different leagues, you will learn more about the competitive status of each league and whether they are travel or not.
Idaho Ice World has two sheets of ice, and is home to plenty of adult and youth hockey year-round. The building is a little more than 20 years old and is owned by the city of Boise, and well maintained by Boise Parks and Recreation.
Idaho Ice World has a full staff and runs many events and programs, including youth and adult hockey, ice skating, open skate sessions, skating lessons, and even has a full pro shop.
There is also a restaurant at Idaho Ice World overlooking the main rink, with basic food (think pretzels or popcorn), but they do have beer and some other drinks. Just be prepared to be ID’d, even if you are well over the age of 21 — it is their requirement and I have run back to my car too many times because I always forget.
Idaho Ice World is a great facility and such an amazing addition to Boise. They are open from early in the morning to late at night, so if you want to play hockey in Boise, you should have no problem finding the right league or team for you.
CenturyLink Arena is quite different from Idaho Ice World. The building was also built in the late 1990s and is home to the ECHL hockey team the Idaho Steelheads.
The CenturyLink Arena also hosts a number of events, and used to also be home to the local minor league basketball team. The building is also attached to the Grove Hotel and Boise Centre, a local events center. Because of this, the ice at CenturyLink Arena is only installed for the Steelheads season each year.
CenturyLink Arena’s ice is regulation sized, but there is only one rink. Depending on the event, the arena’s capacity ranges from 4,000 to 7,000 people.
There are many opportunities each year to play hockey or ice skate at the CenturyLink Area.
Professional hockey came to Boise in 1997 after the CenturyLink Arena was built downtown. The Idaho Steelheads are an ECHL team in Boise whose season starts in October of each year and generally runs through April.
The Idaho Steelheads have won the Kelly Cup two times (in 2006-2007 and 2003-2004) and their conference championship five times. They joined the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) in 2003.
The ECHL is one step below the American Hockey League (AHL), which is one step below the National Hockey League (NHL). The Idaho Steelheads’ AHL affiliate is the Texas Stars and their NHL affiliate is the Dallas Stars.