Meltdown at Arena for Steelers

Sheffield Steelers celebrate last season's play-off success. But they will have to wait to raise the banner at the start of this campaign.

Sheffield Steelers celebrate last season's play-off success. But they will have to wait to raise the banner at the start of this campaign.

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SHEFFIELD Steelers have been forced to postpone their banner-raising opening ELite League fixture due to a structural fault with the ice plant at Sheffield Arena.

Gerad Adams’s side had been scheduled to face-off the new campaign against Dundee Stars on September 6 and – in keeping with tradition – were hoping to raise the 2013-14 play-off banner prior to the game to celebrate their triumph at the National Ice Centre in April.

However, those plans will have to be shelved until the following week’s home game against Fife Flyers, when it is hoped the ice plant will have been fixed in time.

Professional engineers have been working with arena staff for the last two days, but the difficult decision was made on Wednesday afternoon to postpone the season-opener.

“This is a huge blow for us” said Steelers owner Tony Smith. “We had all looked forward to this opening game and banner-raising on that night.

“The Arena, however, had no options but to advise us of the postponement while the repairs were carried out. Rob O’Shea and his team have worked diligently with the engineers over the past 48 hours and kept us up to date of all progress.

“The game against Dundee will be re-scheduled in due course and our supporters advised once a new date can be arranged as well as keeping them updated regularly of all progress.”

The Steelers season will now begin on the road the following night - September 7 – when Adams takes his new-look team to former club Cardiff Devils in the Challenge Cup.

The following Saturday sees them begin their league campaign in Fife before the fixture is hopefully reversed for the following night in Sheffield.

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