Here’s where they’re playing hockey in Sochi

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Good morning from Sochi. Just waiting around for all the practices to start today. Slovakia’s on the ice soon (minus Zdeno Chara, who’s not arriving until later today) and Switzerland’s later. The NHLers don’t fly over on their charters until Sunday.

Thought I’d share a few pictures of the Bolshoy Ice Dome, where most of the men’s games will be played, including the gold-medal game on Feb. 23.

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That’s the outside, obviously. I took this a couple of days ago when the Olympic Park was practically a ghost town. The electronic music they had blaring over the park’s speakers made it feel like I was in some sort of dystopian movie, or possibly a zombie one.

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The Bolshoy Ice Dome’s capacity is listed at 12,000, but it’s probably going to be slightly less for the Olympics, just because of all the media seats and camera areas that take up much of the lower bowl. It was the same way in Vancouver four years ago.

The other, smaller hockey rink (capacity listed at 7,000) is called Shayba Arena.

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The United States will play a couple of games here in the preliminary round, including its opener on Thursday versus Slovakia.