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03-17-2013, 06:51 PM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: tief im westen
Country: Germany
Posts: 4,581
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Originally Posted by Maverick41 View Post
I don't think the rink situation is going to improve anytime soon. Many cities and villages are in debt and can barely, if at all, afford to keep the rinks open that are already there, let alone build new ones or renovate the old ones.

It seemed like we were improving, but with the recent setbacks (terrible performance at the 2012 World Championships and subsequently missing the 2014 Olympics) it is hard to tell which was the aberration the improvement before or these setbacks.

I do believe things in Junior hockey have improved ever so slightly.

I don't really think that a star player in the NHL would make a big difference.
In Basketball we have Dirk Nowitzki, and our Basketball Association has done very little to use his success for the promotion of the game in Germany.
I don't know who is more incompetent the people running German Hockey or the ones running German Basketball but it is a close call. So even if we had a real star in the NHL it wouldn't do much good.
Especially since the NHL is not that popular her to begin with. It would be a bigger deal if a German player or team would play an amazing Olympic tournament (in 2018 maybe), because that is what everyone would watch. And even a standout performance at a World Championship might have a bigger impact than a star player in a league nobody is watching over here (except a few lunatics who need no sleep).
Hasn't Dirk made an impact on the popularity of Basketball here? I was under that impression. The difference of course is that Dirk put us on the map in international competition (the 2005 EURO silver medal was 80% due to him), and of course it's in the nature of the sport that one single player can't make as much of an impact in hockey.

It's difficult to get into hockey in Germany because you just don't get in touch with it. Every three year old german has kicked a ball and if they like it, they stay. You just can't try out hockey like you can with soccer, or even handball and basketball. You can play street hockey but that doesn't lead many to ice hockey.

In general it's difficult to get any attention here due to the domination of soccer. I spoke to Horst Bredemeyer in the summer who is influental in german handball, and he said that Handball's TV ratings weren't at all encouraging, but still light years ahead of basketball and hockey. And I am pretty sure in large part that's because Handball had its golden years when german soccer had its worst slump, in the late 90s and early 00s. They managed to establish themselves when many were tired of soccer. It needs special occurrences like that to have some spotlght.

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