Apart from visiting the elite ice hockey league match of Fjölnir during my October 2021 trip to Iceland, I also had a look into the elite handball division. While there is a lot of development potential on skates, Iceland is indeed one of the major handball countries in the world. I had the chance to watch the women’s team of one of the most famous (multi-)sports clubs in Iceland, Fram, in a regional derby with HK from Kopavogur. Fram hosted the match in Safamyri Hall. Here are my thoughts about the experience, which took place on 16th October 2021.
Safamyri Hall – Location & Transport
Safamyri Hall is part of the Alftamyrarskoli school complex. It is located East of the city center of Reykjavik in a road called Safamyri. The hall is located in a residential area – there are, however, a few guest houses around.
The best way to connect to the hall by public transport is the Kringlan station, which is connecting to the bus lines 3, 4, 6 and 57. If you arrive by car, there are quite some (free) parking lots – you might want to be too late for a popular match, though.
Safamyri Hall – The Arena
As said, the hall is obviously used for school sports. Nonetheless, it is quite an impressive visit – the key reason is that there are numerous glass cabinets with Fram cups and other memorabilia (including witness items of success in soccer and other sports).
The arena itself comes with stands on both sides – for handball, they however can only use one side for the spectators. I did not count the seats and could not find the exact capacity – but I guess that it may hold some 300 to 400 spectators in that configuration. Few seats were broken and could not be used, though. You, of course, had quite a nice view of the match from every seat. I was impressed by the number of sponsors and that they even had video screen advertisement behind the goals.
Safamyri Hall – Services
A booth at the entrance of the hall was used to sell tickets and some snacks. There are also some vending machines and you could buy some souvenirs. The toilets were as charming as in any schools sports arena. I did not like that they doors were named Karalar (Men) and Kvenna (Ladies) – you should know the words if you are in Iceland. You had to fill out an Icelandic online form as Covid-19 registration. The Fram people were very helpful with that, though.
Fram Reykjavik at Safamyri Hall – Atmosphere
Even though the official number of spectators was officially given with 138, there was really a nice atmosphere in the arena. The regional derby allowed that there were fans of both team, which was quite a nice battle especially in the first half (see below). The Fram fans even came with drums and other support material, which was really cool. Last, but not least, they were pushed by a plushy wolf mascot.
Fram Reykjavik – HK Kopavogur 30:21 (17:16) – The Match
Especially the first period of the match was really interesting. There was a series of goals at the very beginning of the match, before both teams had stronger and weaker periods. I felt that Fram was a bit lucky to lead at the intermission. However, the felt to become better and better in defense and could adjust very well to Kopavogurs play. That became more obvious in the second half of the match, wenn Irena Björk Omarsdottir in the Fram goal just had five goals against her – a quote which made it absolutely impossible for HK to win this match.
Overall, the match was really nice to watch. You see that in top class, the Icelandic players are not too far away from top European leagues – the depth in the roster can become more problematic, though. Both teams strongly rely on key players. The second period finally gave a too clear, but absolutely deserved result. Admission was 2,000 ISK, some 13 Euro. However, the match days are double headers – the men’s team played thereafter, but I could not join for that one as well.
Fram Reykjavik at Safamyri Hall – My View
I was really looking forward to that match, which was in fact my first ever Icelandic sports event (the ice hockey match happened after handball). The arena is a bit of old, but the atmosphere in the arena was really nice and the level of the match was really good. You got really nice sports and thus a nice value for money. I loved it.
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