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Why isn't German hockey bigger?

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Old
11-02-2007, 02:17 PM
  #26
zecke26
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Originally Posted by Käptäin Kärppä View Post
Hockey only remained strong in the former hotbeds in Weisswasser, Berlin or Crimmitschau.
true, but in dresden something good is growing. hockey is doing good there. from what i heard, halle and rostock are doing good as well. it's nothing spectacular, but they build a solid ground and now hockey is able to grow there.

and as for the TV-situation. hockey ratings weren't that bad and what almost killed hockey is pay-TV and the DEL. they don't care about hockey as long as they can make some money fast. it worked for the forst two seasons, but since then hockey is in trouble.
guys like schroeder in frankfurt were starting to destroy hockey and are still doing it.
if they want to survive, they would have to learn that making money only can work if you think about the future and not just the present. and i somehow doubt they're clever enough.

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11-06-2007, 05:36 AM
  #27
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Hockey is too tough for Germans.

Joke aside, I think germany could/should be better. As for climate, the Czecks can't have much colder climate than germany, if you can participate in BIATHLON, you can participate in hockey.

As for population - I rest my case.

As for the financial situation - isn't Germany supposed to be one of the wealthiest nation in the world??

I hope and think Germany at least will be a div I regular.

As for missing NHL'ers, thats equal to every team.


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11-06-2007, 11:57 AM
  #28
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Czech Republic is smaller than Germany though
You can pretty much forget at least half of Germany (if not more) when it comes to hockey, because there is simply no ice you could skate on. Just like in France or England, the climate in large parts of the country is influenced by the sea, which makes the winters much too warm.

Wealth doesn't necessarily mean that it's put into hockey
If someone has money and wants to invest in sports, he usually puts it into soccer, than into soccer and if something is left, soccer. Then come the sports where Germany has someone who is really successful. Neither is there a hockey player who is considered a star on a Nowitzki-like level, nor is Germany particularly successful at hockey, investors don't really like that.

Germany still is one of the financially most important countries for the IIHF, but there simply isn't much money used on developing players.

As for the NHL-players missing, I wouldn't say that it's equal. If you compare Germany to Switzerland, Germany loses more players because of the NHL. This is about to change, but in the recent past, most Swiss players stayed in Europe. The Swiss had their two goalies and Mark Streit, that's about it, Germany loses it's top three forwards, top four defensemen and top two goalies.

The comparison doesn't get any better if you compare Germany to the top-countries. Those countries lose more players and quite often even better ones, but they still have a large pool of players available. Losing seven or eight star-players hurts, but it hurts even more if those are all the stars you have.

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11-06-2007, 02:52 PM
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanderson View Post
Czech Republic is smaller than Germany though
You can pretty much forget at least half of Germany (if not more) when it comes to hockey, because there is simply no ice you could skate on. Just like in France or England, the climate in large parts of the country is influenced by the sea, which makes the winters much too warm.

Wealth doesn't necessarily mean that it's put into hockey
If someone has money and wants to invest in sports, he usually puts it into soccer, than into soccer and if something is left, soccer. Then come the sports where Germany has someone who is really successful. Neither is there a hockey player who is considered a star on a Nowitzki-like level, nor is Germany particularly successful at hockey, investors don't really like that.

Germany still is one of the financially most important countries for the IIHF, but there simply isn't much money used on developing players.

As for the NHL-players missing, I wouldn't say that it's equal. If you compare Germany to Switzerland, Germany loses more players because of the NHL. This is about to change, but in the recent past, most Swiss players stayed in Europe. The Swiss had their two goalies and Mark Streit, that's about it, Germany loses it's top three forwards, top four defensemen and top two goalies.

The comparison doesn't get any better if you compare Germany to the top-countries. Those countries lose more players and quite often even better ones, but they still have a large pool of players available. Losing seven or eight star-players hurts, but it hurts even more if those are all the stars you have.

I understand what you're saying and of course you're not completely of base, in particular that part that you have to be successful to get attention from investors/media etc. I just hope for some more competition in the hockey world, and Germany and the Swiss along with some eastern european, COULD get there without THAT much effort.

And I cannot understand why people cant be a fan of several sports, I mean I like fotball (soccer), but that doesnt make me any less of a hockey fan.

Ice Hockey is a great game, it got so much more intensity than most other team sports. And it IS a indoor game, you don't have to have an artic climat to play hockey (think of Phoenix...), and besides southern Scandinavia actually isn't THAT much colder than Germany, take a look at a map you'll find that Scandinavia and Germany is actually pretty close.

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11-06-2007, 04:26 PM
  #30
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There is a difference between being a fan and actually playing it. Most people play football, few play hockey, those who like both usually take what is cheaper and easier to cope with. Football clubs are around every corner, but there are maybe one or two hockey teams in some cities, that's way too much travelling for most parents.

Yeah, they do play hockey in areas where it isn't all that cold, but tell me, how many players do you know who come from Phoenix?
Just because teams are playing in such a city doesn't mean that there are all that many local players there, nor that many talents can be found.

Maybe the southwest of Sweden, but that's a significantly smaller part of the country than the similar areas in Germany. Take population into account and you end up with a relatively small number of people who actually live in an area which really supports hockey. None of the bigger cities has the climate for outdoor hockey, nor do they have enough rinks to support multiple indoor hockey teams. There is a reason why Germany doesn't have half as many hockey-players as Sweden and Finland.

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11-07-2007, 03:45 AM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanderson View Post
There is a difference between being a fan and actually playing it. Most people play football, few play hockey, those who like both usually take what is cheaper and easier to cope with. Football clubs are around every corner, but there are maybe one or two hockey teams in some cities, that's way too much travelling for most parents.

Yeah, they do play hockey in areas where it isn't all that cold, but tell me, how many players do you know who come from Phoenix?
Just because teams are playing in such a city doesn't mean that there are all that many local players there, nor that many talents can be found.

Maybe the southwest of Sweden, but that's a significantly smaller part of the country than the similar areas in Germany. Take population into account and you end up with a relatively small number of people who actually live in an area which really supports hockey. None of the bigger cities has the climate for outdoor hockey, nor do they have enough rinks to support multiple indoor hockey teams. There is a reason why Germany doesn't have half as many hockey-players as Sweden and Finland.
Well you know the colder parts of Sweden ins't exactly crowded with people, most people up there lives by the "bothniabay" coastline (were many great Swedish skaters is brought up, so climate does have an effect I admitt). And the winters in the middle parts of Sweden is very unrealiable, one winter day okay it's cold enough to hold an ice, the other day its TOO cold to be outside and the next day it's like + 4-5 C and the ice gets soggy.

How about the german alps, isnt it cold enough to hold an natural ice there? Maybe it's to few who live there?

And a rich country like yours should be able to build rinks with artifical freezed ice, the size measures doesnt always need to be olympic. A rink with artifical ice outdoors should still be in pretty cold places but it doesnt have to be under 0 C all the time.


Last edited by Tomas W: 11-07-2007 at 03:56 AM.
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11-07-2007, 05:12 AM
  #32
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The number of German kids, who grow up in low level income households is increasing in alarming numbers. IMO, that's even bigger problem, giving the much higher costs to buy hockey equipment compared to soccer equipment. I paid 125 Euro for my skates and need to pay a fee to be able to get on the ice. You can play soccer practically everywhere, on the street, on a field, in a park or on the beach, for free. Plus, you don't need specialized equipment. A pair of cheap shoes and a cheap ball can be had for 25 Euro combined.

EDIT: Just saw that.

@Sanderson: Happy Birthday.


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11-07-2007, 11:03 AM
  #33
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There are some areas where it's cold enough, that's where most German players are coming from

There is artificial ice in almost every German city, but it's not enough to support hockey on a larger scale.
I'll take my hometown as an example. Hamburg is the second largest city of the country. Right now there are four artificial ice rinks, plus another one in progress.

One is the arena, which can't be used for anything but the DEL-homegames and the odd international game. The one in progress is the new practice compount, which should be ready in about a year, but it is pretty far from the cities core.
Then there are two smaller arenas which are used for hockey, but also public skating, which reduces the icetime for hockey-teams drastically. Both aren't easily accessible either. They are having trouble getting icetime for the men's teams of the two smaller clubs, much less getting some for the kids.

The last one is the biggest and the one which doesn't take an eternity to travel to, but it has no roof and is only for public skating, speed skating and figure skating.

All places aren't funded by big companies and need all the money they can get. The easist way to make money is public skating. Hockey teams would need to spend a lot of money to get good icetime. This wastes pretty much 3 million potential players who live in or around the city.


Thanks
I can feel my age already

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11-07-2007, 04:25 PM
  #34
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Pretty good description of the current situation by Sanderson here.

Metro Hannover (population: 1.130.000) has three ice rinks, one of them is the Arena and obviously only rarely used for training.

The other two rinks are also used for public skating, sledge-hockey, ice dancers and curling etc which means that even the very young have to train at impossible times.

And keep in mind that Hannover is a city where hockey IS relatively big.

Right now one new rink is build in the region by former Hannover Scorpions player Lenny Soccio which will be a great relief for everyone here. It was a hard fight to come up witht he money for the rink and right now it's still a gamble if it will pay off.

Also there's another rink in Celle just 40Km north of Hannover where the kids often go to train but altogether the situation is pretty dire.

About two years ago there was talk about building a huge hockey center here in Hannover which would have hold at least 6 rinks under one roof but in the end as most of the time money was the problem.

Best area for hockey in Germany is Bavaria where sometimes every little village has its own rink.


Last edited by JVR: 11-07-2007 at 04:31 PM.
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11-08-2007, 01:44 AM
  #35
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what's with the rink in mellendorf? no longer excistent or still used?

in kassel we have one rink. there are plans to build an arena with at least one rink for practising, but i don't see this arena coming. money, money, money...

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11-08-2007, 08:57 AM
  #36
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Yeah a city over 1 million inhabitants in Sweden would have a large number of artificial ice rinks.

Problem is we just have; 1 city over 1 million people (Stockholm), 2 citys over 0,5 million (Sthlm, Göteborg) and 3 citys (Sthlm, Gtb and Malmö) over 0,25 million.

Then again, yeah at least in the north there is of course a lot of good natural ice during the winter (in the middle parts at least from time to time).

Anyhow, come on! Tell your ********* politicans to start building rinks.

This should be a EU project! Sweden is already forced to pay WAY too much support to eastern and southern europe and thier unprofitable agriculture industry and whatnot. Some of our tax money should instead go to develop German hockey. Then at least it would be for a good cause.


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11-09-2007, 03:10 PM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zecke26 View Post
what's with the rink in mellendorf? no longer excistent or still used?
Still used. It's one of three rinks I meantioned.
1) Tui Arena
2) Pferdeturm
3) Icehouse Mellendorf
4) Len Soccio Ice Center in Langenhagen (between the Wedemark and Hannover), finished in 2008
http://www.ti2-media.de/kunden/planervilla/aktuell.pdf

The Icehouse in Mellendorf is actually faster to reach with public transport than the Arena from Hannover's city center.

Just read that the new rink in Langenhagen will also be used for Handball?!
Hope they don't take away too much time slots the hockey teams in Hannover could really use.


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12-03-2007, 03:27 AM
  #38
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Just curious.
I would have thought it was the kind of sport that would do well in Germany.
I remember them playing well against the smaller European nations for decades, but they never seem to make the step into a true contender for the championship.
I've been told that Fotboll is the national sport, but still in a country with so many people there should be market for others. I've also been told that German hockey import many foreign over the hill players, stiffling developement, but if that's the reason why don't put a limit on it?
I mean, if the tiny Czech Republic can put up both a hockey and fotball team that challenge for championships, why doesn't Germany?

I've been wondering this while living in Germany. There really hasn't been a culture of hockey developed yet. Sure the govt can pump money into the system and that will be required at some stage (no, private money will only create an elite game that few participate). But for now what is needed is one bona fide star. Think Becker and Graf in tennis. They were the influence for almost every single player thereafter, even still.

So Germany needs it's own Jagr, Gretzky, Ovechkin, Crosby, Datsyuk, Zetterburg who plays on the biggest stage (NHL) and has the greatest influence. Now comes the chicken-egg question is how do you produce these players? Partly luck I guess but also injecting more money into the junior and senior levels, but really mostly at the minor hoceky levels to increase the chances of getting that elite star player. I think that once you have him, then people will demand the govt's involvement in the game. I recall in the heydays of Becker and Graf tennis in Canada, the government subsidized a lot of tennis programs at the community level. Thsi was going on at the same time as they were supporting ice hockey in the same way.

Sure winter has something to so with it (outdoor rinks and all) but it's more of a committment than anything. I saw South Korean ice hockey teams visiting and practicing in Canada and they were pretty good. If as someone else pointed out, ski jumping, biathalon, etc can be big, then why not hockey? At the base of all this is the minor level game (kids: 8-14 especially) and who will support it so that the next German-Crosby can emerge and lead the country in better developing the game.

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12-03-2007, 10:47 AM
  #39
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Has there been any basketball boom since Nowitzki entered the NBA?

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12-03-2007, 11:02 AM
  #40
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Maybe a slight upswing for the league, but definately not a real boom.

The ratings for the international tournaments are much better than for hockey though, and most people know Nowitzki, hardly anyone would know the best German hockey players. Though most people don't know the next best basketball player after Nowitzki either

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12-03-2007, 09:41 PM
  #41
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Originally Posted by Sanderson View Post
Maybe a slight upswing for the league, but definately not a real boom.

The ratings for the international tournaments are much better than for hockey though, and most people know Nowitzki, hardly anyone would know the best German hockey players. Though most people don't know the next best basketball player after Nowitzki either
I guess it depends on the time lag between a star's glory days and the resulting boom in participation. I'm not a super big NBA fan sorry but is Nowitzki a top 5 star? What I was getting at was it has to be a Becker winning wimbelden or Graf winning, well everything, for the effect to take place. For example, Tommy Haas was what? 7th in the world?- I'm not sure that's enough to start the next tennis revolution.

Here's the question: is there a young German rising star on the ice hockey horizon?


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12-03-2007, 09:50 PM
  #42
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One more thing - I watched a Swedish Elite league game last night and was very impressed by not only the skill level but also the physical nature of the game. It's that intensity that's missing in the DEL which could bring its popularity up. To be honest the potentially violent nature of the game is part of the attraction to a lot of fans - maybe here in Germany too?

How I see it - Fussball has no really seething violence (= intensity) on the field - it ends up taking place in the stands whereas the rough stuff and yes, even violence takes place on the ice. So Hockey has a niche in Germany - it just needs to fill it better. I learned that Swedish hockey is like that and of course people know how the Finns play that great combination of NA/European style.

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12-04-2007, 07:58 AM
  #43
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I'm not a super big NBA fan sorry but is Nowitzki a top 5 star?
Nowitzki was MVP last season...

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12-04-2007, 08:45 AM
  #44
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Nowitzki was MVP last season...
Okay so that's that for my theory (unless of course there's some lag time for bball to take off after Nowitzki's success).

People have to start pushing governments to fund more hockey programs with public money - especially once the economy picks up. The one poster was right about the cost of playing and the increase in the number of kids who can't afford to even buy skates, let alone equipment and rink time. But is this really something that the German government will fund? Don't think this problem isn't happening in Canada too - lots of kids and parents aren't willing to pay the big money to play and the travel time and early morning weekend practices - it really is becoming an elite game. Guess what the big sport is now? Soccer - outdoor and indoor. In terms of player participation it's number 1.

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12-06-2007, 10:48 PM
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burgs View Post
The national team should remain in the top division now. There was a lot of coaching turmoil after switching from the successful (made the WHC quarterfinals several times in a row) but outdated and butt-ugly grinding style of Hans Zach to the inexperienced and less respected Greg Poss. With Uwe Krupp now there's a guy that demands respect and can motivate the troops. Also, the many young players brought to the national team in the past years are now growing into their roles.

The new problem however is that we now lose our best players to the NHL. For the last tournament we missed basically the whole 1st block (Sturm, Hecht, Goc, Ehrhoff, Schubert). And this will only get worse.
It might get worse but as long as there is another World Cup or Olympic tournament there's always going to be a chance to assemble a full team (while the NHL is on a break).

What might Team Germany look like at 2010 Vancouver? or at a 2012 World Cup?

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01-12-2008, 03:41 PM
  #46
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on a sidenote

The Biathlon World Championships is coming up in early february and my hometown Östersund is the place to go if u want to see it

the thing is that here it's not that big, of course a lot of people watch tv and the swedes have had a lot of success last couple of years (forsberg, olofsson) but it's not like people will take time off work to watch it like we did when Stenmark was dominating the alpine circus

but the rumour and everyone knows that the germans will come here with a loooot of supporters, they even have trains going from Berlin to Östersund just for the WC..it's going to be a big oktoberfest every night

willkommen !

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01-14-2008, 12:20 PM
  #47
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Originally Posted by leftofcenter View Post
One more thing - I watched a Swedish Elite league game last night and was very impressed by not only the skill level but also the physical nature of the game. It's that intensity that's missing in the DEL which could bring its popularity up. To be honest the potentially violent nature of the game is part of the attraction to a lot of fans - maybe here in Germany too?

How I see it - Fussball has no really seething violence (= intensity) on the field - it ends up taking place in the stands whereas the rough stuff and yes, even violence takes place on the ice. So Hockey has a niche in Germany - it just needs to fill it better. I learned that Swedish hockey is like that and of course people know how the Finns play that great combination of NA/European style.

I so agree with on this.
I fell in love with hockey not only because the beauty and speed of the game but also because of the intensity and aggressiveness.

Hannover - Berlin two weeks ago was my first game of the season.
The way the game is played these days was a huge reason me and my family didn't feel the urge to attend games anymore.
There is no tension any more. Players don't even react when the goalie is attacked.
I counted 3 hits in the game against Berlin. The fans got so used to the flood of penalties that they want to see penalties after beautiful hits.
Looker called 16 penalties in a totally flat non-agressive game.

The game certainly didn't want me go to visit more games this season.

It's not that I want goons or brutality but I want bone-crushing hits, I want players and teams to get mad at each other and at least get in a shoving match for god's sake.
The game against Straubing last weekend (I got free tickets) was just as life-less. At least the ref let them play.

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01-16-2008, 11:28 AM
  #48
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Originally Posted by Toni Porkka View Post
Has there been any basketball boom since Nowitzki entered the NBA?
My cousins in Germany talk about this subject and the hockey issue with me quite often when I'm there.

To them, Basketball is very interesting and they track NBA teams some. However, when they started getting into Basketball was with Michael Jordan, the Chicago Bulls and then the Dream Team. They like Nowitzki and they casually follow the Bulls still, but they don't get into it like they used too. Jordan was a world star for the most part and they marketed the heck out of him. As soon as some of them saw the first Jordan Bulls Title, 3 of my cousins (who are a tad older than me) signed up to play in local basketball leagues. Basketball also took off in parks and everything. They had already known how to play it some, but they played more. It also has something to do for them with "American style". Hip hop, which many of my cousins and their friends love (and particularly they like the real American Hip Hop) talks about Basketball and wear clothes and jerseys associated with the sport. Plus, they all love getting new Air Jordans or other basketball shoes. So, I think some of the Basketball is culture and the situation that was Jordan.

Now, as far as hockey, most realize it occurs. I have a relative in Koln and the rest outside Stuttgart. Most have learned to ice skate and do so in the winter months. However, most have never even really watched a hockey game more than attending one because I wanted to go to a Koln game. It just isn't on the consciousness. They couldn't tell you any hockey players other than Kolzig, Goc and one or two others. When pressed, they probably could give me the Great One or Super Mario. One or two at a bar have Russian friends and they know about Ovechkin (recognized a shirt I wore).

Though, football... almost everyone knows something about it. It just is all over the place. They can tell you about everything and anything. My cousins don't particularly watch it, but they could still tell me pretty much the whole VfB Stuttgart lineup without even having to take a bit of time. I've stayed with them for weeks, and only when I wanted to watch the game would they do so. Beyond that, they'd pretty much watch soaps or some other silly German game shows. They aren't typical I'm sure, but somehow the culture is partially driven by the sport.

How do they get away from that? well, I think it involves the NHL game growing into the "American Culture" for one just as much as it does with getting lucky and getting a German star. If American youths pick up the game and start loving it, young Europeans in the past would probably start picking it up as well. Nowadays with the change in the connected society of the world, I don't know if that is the case.

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01-17-2008, 04:08 PM
  #49
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Just out of curiosty, how many of you have rec leagues for those who want to play and do any boardies play hockey?

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05-22-2008, 01:50 PM
  #50
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I don't think that Football is the main problem. The DEL is the problem.
In the 90s we had in Munich EC Hedos. The club was not only successful, but had a lot fans, most of the time the arena was sold out. The club went bankrupt 1995.
Immediately after that, the ESC Muenchen was formed and it had an unbelievable cult following. Even in the 4th League they had a crowd of around 3000 people for every home game.
And you must consider, that around that time we had 3 football teams in the 1. Bundesliga (1860, Bayern, Unterhaching) but that didn't affect the ESC much. The club was successful, as they scored around 6-16 goals in most of their games, they crushed every oponnent, i guess that was, what most of the visitores liked. Then came the Anschutz Group, they closed down the club und created the Barons. A huge marketing campaign followed ("Hockey is back"), but no one was interested, they played in the DEL in front of around 2000 people, even after they became champions.

I think that is one of the problems: Clubs without much of a history play in the DEL, with a lot of foreign players no one knows and no one cares. The ESC or even now the EHC are so successful because they let a lot of players from munich or bavaria play in their team.

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