The Belfast Giants are an ice hockey club from Belfast, Northern Ireland that compete in the Elite Ice Hockey League. They play their home games at the 7,100 capacity Odyssey Arena.
Sectarianism had long been seen as a significant problem in some sports in Northern Ireland such as football. When the club was established, the Giants were keen that the club not attach itself to a particular faith or community, instead wanting to represent Belfast as a whole.
A number of policies were subsequently introduced to try and ensure this and the Giants have quickly built a large and enthusiastic fanbase who did not have to fear the sectarianism that marred some other sports in the province.
Initially members of the now defunct Superleague, the Giants won the championship in 2001-02 and were play-off champions in 2002-03. With the Superleague's demise, there were concerns that the Giants would not survive because of major financial problems which had developed.
However, with the creation of the new Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) for the 2003-04 season, the Giants survived. The Giants finished 4th in the league's first season, but failed to reach the post-season play-offs.
In 2005, The Giants unveiled the biggest signing in the history of British ice hockey; NHL All-Star and Olympic Gold Medal winner, Theo Fleury. He made his debut against the Edinburgh Capitals. The Giants won 11-2, with Fleury scoring a hat-trick, who got named “man of the match” alongside four additional assists.
The Belfast Giants currently have 2 supporters clubs, The Official Belfast Giants Supporters Club (OSC) and the Nixx Giants Supporters Club.
On March 5, 2006 The Giants were declared Elite League Champions for the 2005-06 season.