How popular is ice hockey in Germany?
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08-11-2014, 04:11 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Originally Posted by
I don't know if it's a LONG way but there certainly was some important development over the past years. Events like the outdoor game in the World Cup as well as the DEL Winter Game are things that make people watch hockey although they normally wouldn't. Giving broadcasting rights to ServusTV and Laola1.tv was another important step. Hockey does become more popular in Germany, no doubt about that. The recent success of Dennis Seidenberg becoming the second German to win the Stanley Cup champion and Leon Draisaitl being drafted 3rd overall helped, too. Germany went up to 2nd in attendance among the other European leagues, only behind Switzerland, and in front of European top leagues like the KHL, SM-Liiga and Elitserien.
So far you can't tell if any of these events have had a lasting effect.
Getting people to watch a one time (or once a year) sports event like the outdoor game in Germany is rather easy. Every year they have the Biathlon event in the Schalke stadium and not only do they sell out that arena, there are millions watching on TV. The kind of crowd these events attract would go and watch competitive cow milking if it was done in a football stadium and got the right publicity.
It's also not surprising that the average attendance is better or at the same level as in most other European countries, since we have 80+ million people living here.
In the end it always comes down to money, and the DEB has none, or at least they might have none, they won't know until an independent company checked their books. It's a small miracle that hockey in Germany hasn't died considering the way it has been managed in this past years.
I really hope things will improve now, but that will depend on the support of sponsors and politicians and I am skeptical on both accounts.
If the new DEB can actually make some changes and if the national team qualifies for the next Olympics, which I am not sure they will, things might look up, but right now it is hard to see a significant poistive development in German hockey.
Some things improved (a little), others not so much.
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