A hockey league in Russia plans to hold a regular-season match on a working Russian Navy aircraft carrier, a spokesman told RIA Novosti on Monday.
The plan is at an early stage, but if the VHL match goes ahead it would be the first time that a professional hockey match has been held on a carrier, although U.S. President Barack Obama attended a college basketball game on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson in 2011.
The VHL is a Russian farm league to the KHL.
Holding the match would be a PR coup for the little-known league, spokesman Vitaly Panov said.
“Everyone’s going to know that the VHL exists,” he said.
“Obviously, it’ll be PR above all because no one in the world has done this before, and obviously there will be a lot of interest in this.”
The VHL hopes the Navy will agree to hold the match on flagship Admiral Kuznetsov carrier, which is based in the northern port of Murmansk and can carry up to 50 aircraft, local media reported.
One of the teams to take part will be St. Petersburg’s Navy club, a farm team for KHL team SKA, he added.
The importance and symbolism of the match were more important than the result, Panov said.
“The main thing is the atmosphere and the event,” he said, adding that the quality of play could be affected by factors such as the wind.
The plans are still in the early stages, Panov said, and the VHL is yet to hold talks with the Navy brass.
He denied that the idea had been inspired by the U.S. basketball match, saying: “That’s the first time I’ve heard of it.”
Asked about whether the parent KHL league could adopt the idea if it is a success, Panov said it was too early to say, and that the match would likely be a one-time event.