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Рopularity of hockey in Germany

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Old
05-10-2010, 07:52 PM
  #26
TheMoreYouKnow
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Originally Posted by Brodie View Post
I've often wondered just how popular American football actually was/is in Germany. I saw some of those NFL Europa games on TV and the fans looked pretty into it.
NFL Europe had some popularity I guess but don't forget you were talking like 5 or 6 home games a year as opposed to around 30 for hockey. Frankfurt Galaxy in particular had a solid following, probably due to the historically big U.S. armed forces presence in that area but in general it's the kind of deal where there's a relatively small but committed NFL fan base but fairly little interest in the sport at a local grassroots level. The level of the German league is such that the championship is decided based on which team could convince the best American former college player to play for them.

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05-10-2010, 08:11 PM
  #27
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I saw a DEL game in Frankfurt and some smaller league games a few years ago while visiting there. The crowds arent nearly as big, but the fans are really into it. The chanting, sining and whistling put the North American crowds to shame. The minor league teams seemed to have a great grassroot following. It was a lot of fun.

The minor league teams were all allowed a few imports, so there would be a handful of Canadians on all the teams. For the most part, the Canadians were the best players on the teams, so the German players seem to still have a ways to go.

The smaller arenas seemed to always be filled with smoke, since almost everyone I met in Germany smoked.

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05-11-2010, 04:38 AM
  #28
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Originally Posted by Grub View Post
I think hockey has gotten more popular in Germany due to the Olympics.
I don't think so.
When I switched on the TV last Friday at the club house of my soccer club the whole bunch of people there (like 25 or so) was STUNNED when they saw the USA-Germany game. They neither knew that the World Championships would start today nor that the game was selling over 75,000 tickets.
You know, and these people not only play soccer. They are into sports in general but they have no idea about hockey. And I'm actually living in southern Germany where hockey is relatively big and we have the Ice Tigers (DEL team) only about 50km away...

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05-11-2010, 05:05 AM
  #29
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I'm from San Jose but have been to Munich every other year since I was born. From what I'VE noticed through questioning people and simple observation is that hockey is not at all popular here. I've only spoken to several who know the names of the best hockey athletes of the country. And contrary to what a previous poster mentioned, I don't think the Olympics helped much; no one who I've spoken to in the past week (I'm in Munich for two weeks) knew anything about how well or bad they fared in that tournament.

BUT, I will say I think the record-breaking attendance at Shalke must have helped, because I'm hearing more people talk about hockey here right now than ever before (which still isn't saying much). I think people are becoming more familiar with the names Michael Wolf (sp?), Marcel Goc, and Uwe Krupp. To be honest, I didn't even know the World Championships were in Germany until my aunt mentioned it to me when I got here, and she doesn't even watch hockey. Several of my relatives who have never bothered to watch a hockey game were aware of the German upset of the US. In Munich though, it doesn't help that FC Bayern just won the Bundesliga title, as you'll see that at the front and center of any sports-related medium. Still, "Die Sueddeutsche Zeitung," which is a major Bavarian newspaper, has surprisingly devoted large portions of their backpages to decent-sized articles and photos following the World Championships, although I'm not very familiar with their format and whether or not they usually give that much of a mention to hockey during the World Championships. Also, my cousin, who never watched a hockey game in his life until the Germany/USA game, came over last night just to watch the Finland/Germany game with me. That's also a good sign.

If Germany ends up making it past the group stages and going out with a strong fight, I could see a tad more interest sparked among the German population, possibly similar to the way the 2002 soccer World Cup run made for an interesting story in the United States, although I think this would certainly be to a lesser degree. I still think nothing helped more than the record-setting crowd at the Shalke arena. Definitely has started several conversations around here. The funniest moment for me, as a Sharks fan, was hearing the German commentators say this on the live feed during the USA game in an attempt to illustrate how good team USA is: "They basically have 25 Marcel Gocs"

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05-11-2010, 08:57 AM
  #30
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Originally Posted by polmaniac932 View Post
The funniest moment for me, as a Sharks fan, was hearing the German commentators say this on the live feed during the USA game in an attempt to illustrate how good team USA is: "They basically have 25 Marcel Gocs"
I had a good laugh at that as well. Although I think Marcel has improved in Nashville this season. But since he is the "star player" on our team the commentator obviously thought this to be a clever comparison.

I think one of the reasons why hockey and espcially DEL-hockey is not as popular as it could be, is that they abandoned the traditional hockey towns and moved to the bigger cities. The fans however still rather followed teams like Füssen, Bad Tölz, Riessersee, Landshut, Rosenheim, Schwenningen, etc.

There are definitely other and maybe more important reasons, but this is also a factor, and I'd like to see some more of these teams back in the top division.

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05-11-2010, 09:02 AM
  #31
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Originally Posted by Maverick41 View Post
I had a good laugh at that as well. Although I think Marcel has improved in Nashville this season. But since he is the "star player" on our team the commentator obviously thought this to be a clever comparison.

I think one of the reasons why hockey and espcially DEL-hockey is not as popular as it could be, is that they abandoned the traditional hockey towns and moved to the bigger cities. The fans however still rather followed teams like Füssen, Bad Tölz, Riessersee, Landshut, Rosenheim, Schwenningen, etc.

There are definitely other and maybe more important reasons, but this is also a factor, and I'd like to see some more of these teams back in the top division.
Yeah, it's not nearly as bad as a comparison as I'm making it out to be. He didn't have much of an opportunity to shine offensively while he was with San Jose, and he's definitely benefited by moving to Nashville. It was still funny, though.

I didn't know about the abandonment of the traditional hockey cities, that is interesting. Would like ot see the game grow here.

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05-11-2010, 02:59 PM
  #32
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Originally Posted by Maverick41 View Post
I think one of the reasons why hockey and espcially DEL-hockey is not as popular as it could be, is that they abandoned the traditional hockey towns and moved to the bigger cities. The fans however still rather followed teams like Füssen, Bad Tölz, Riessersee, Landshut, Rosenheim, Schwenningen, etc.
How should it grow hockey when more teams from cities nearly no one knows and cares about play in the top tier league? By giving those teams a few hundred more in attendance?

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05-11-2010, 03:05 PM
  #33
Rob Zepp
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Originally Posted by hs86183 View Post
I would say:

soccer
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.
.
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hockey
basketball
handball

just the team sports
This....but each October, boat racing jumps into first.....

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05-11-2010, 03:33 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by Maverick41 View Post
I had a good laugh at that as well. Although I think Marcel has improved in Nashville this season. But since he is the "star player" on our team the commentator obviously thought this to be a clever comparison.

I think one of the reasons why hockey and espcially DEL-hockey is not as popular as it could be, is that they abandoned the traditional hockey towns and moved to the bigger cities. The fans however still rather followed teams like Füssen, Bad Tölz, Riessersee, Landshut, Rosenheim, Schwenningen, etc.

There are definitely other and maybe more important reasons, but this is also a factor, and I'd like to see some more of these teams back in the top division.
A lot of big teams went bancrupt..like my favourite team BSC Preussen Berlin. Sad that there is no derby anymore in Berlin.

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05-11-2010, 03:54 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by Rob Zepp View Post
This....but each October, boat racing jumps into first.....
boat racing??? I doubt this..

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05-11-2010, 04:00 PM
  #36
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It's football and then nothing for a long time. Hockey, basketball and handball are similarly popular and it depends on the area which one is more visible. I wouldn't even bring up sports like ski jumping or biathlon because those events occupy public consciousness only for special events like the Vierschanzentournee or the Olympics but otherwise are irrelevant. During Olympics anything can get ratings provided Germans are contending for medals, it says nothing about the sport's popularity in general.

The only sports that really exist as professional leagues with solid spectator numbers outside football are handball, basketball and hockey. Hockey I believe is the most attractive sport out of the lot but it faces an uphill struggle as even if you enjoy watching it, it's a struggle to play it. Rinks aren't very common and equipment is pricey. Basketball and handball on the other hand are popular sports at the school level, don't require special equipment or a special surface. Not surprisingly Germany is more competitive in those other sports than in hockey and thus viewership and media attention for international tournaments is much bigger. It has to be pointed out though that the leagues in all three sports had to fight for their TV presence as really only football is guaranteed a spot, so hockey's lot is shared by basketball and handball in that regard.
That's not true. As long as Germans are successful in those sports, they get pretty good ratings on TV, and are pretty relevant throughout the winter. Currently ski jumping isn't that big since the Germans suck, but back in the days where Hannawald, Schmitt and before that Weißflog were winning everybody knew them, unlike even the best German hockey players. Same goes now with Biathlon: I'd bet there are far more people that know Neuner, Wilhelm and Greis than Sturm, Hecht and Ehrhoff.

There is a solid and active core of hockey fans in Germany, but the chances to really grow the game much are pretty slim. Germany would have to be much more successfull and even then I think at best it would be like handball was a few years ago, when the national team was pretty well known and popular, but the league didn't have much more fans.
No sport will come close to soccer for the next decades, that's just the way it is.

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05-11-2010, 04:31 PM
  #37
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Originally Posted by hs86183 View Post
boat racing??? I doubt this..
You are from Munich and don't know a boat race during Octoberfest......really?!

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05-11-2010, 04:39 PM
  #38
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- There was a poll just two weeks ago and 13,9% of the german people know that there is a WC. 5,7% remembered that Uwe Krupp is the coach, 1,5% remembered the name "Marco Sturm", 0,8% Jochen Hecht and 0,5% Marcel Goc. 95,7% wasn´t able to name one player of the Team Germany. 49,5% of the people do not want to know anything about this WC, 2,7% were "very interested" in it. (source)

- There are 80.000.000 germans and 28.000 Hockey Player (male, female, kids).

- The german main TV-Station ARD realized that their is some kind of an opening game of this WC something like a month ago and just asked if they can chance the timetable and play at five o´clock. In that case they would bring it on the screens - and their movie "tulips from Amsterdam" can stay in place. In the end there just were tulips and no hockey for most of the germans.

- You can´t buy any WC-Merchandising at the big Shopping Malls at Cologne. And we are one of the hosting Citys!

- The German Sports University Cologne, which is the biggest sports university in the world, has no professor for Icehockey. Their is one for Free Climbing, Judo and even Trampoline Jumping - but no Hockey.

.
.
.
.

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05-11-2010, 05:33 PM
  #39
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so then a Q:"why did Germany need this WC?"

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05-11-2010, 05:37 PM
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by René View Post
- There was a poll just two weeks ago and 13,9% of the german people know that there is a WC. 5,7% remembered that Uwe Krupp is the coach, 1,5% remembered the name "Marco Sturm", 0,8% Jochen Hecht and 0,5% Marcel Goc. 95,7% wasn´t able to name one player of the Team Germany. 49,5% of the people do not want to know anything about this WC, 2,7% were "very interested" in it. (source)

- There are 80.000.000 germans and 28.000 Hockey Player (male, female, kids).

- The german main TV-Station ARD realized that their is some kind of an opening game of this WC something like a month ago and just asked if they can chance the timetable and play at five o´clock. In that case they would bring it on the screens - and their movie "tulips from Amsterdam" can stay in place. In the end there just were tulips and no hockey for most of the germans.

- You can´t buy any WC-Merchandising at the big Shopping Malls at Cologne. And we are one of the hosting Citys!

- The German Sports University Cologne, which is the biggest sports university in the world, has no professor for Icehockey. Their is one for Free Climbing, Judo and even Trampoline Jumping - but no Hockey.

.
.
.
.
Yep, it's a shame.

Soccer aside Germany is a country where individual sports are much more popular. Winter sport is really big (skiing of any kind in particular) as well as track and field athletics and of course Formula 1 and yet even the Tour de France (bicycle race) is (or was - due to several doping incidents) very popular. The team handball national team was hyped and celebrated due to its recent successes but hockey or team handball clubs rather have small die-hard fan bases and often don't even get recognized by the general media. Despite being isolated from the German "sports mainstream" the atmosphere at hockey or team handball games is very intense and fun for the most part!


Last edited by LightningStrikes: 05-11-2010 at 05:44 PM.
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Old
05-11-2010, 10:12 PM
  #41
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I stayed near Hamburg for a couple of months in 06-07. Hockey was kind of popular. We played roller hockey in P.E. a couple of times. The girl I was living it loved going to Hamburg Freezers games. We went to one, and the fans are crazy. They packed a 12,000 seat arena and were louder than any NHL crowd. Hamburg is a very good DEL market.

Overall it's not popular when compared to soccer, and it depends where you are. The hotbeds are the Cologne area, Mannheim, Hamburg area and Berlin.

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Old
05-12-2010, 12:08 AM
  #42
hs86183
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Originally Posted by Rob Zepp View Post
You are from Munich and don't know a boat race during Octoberfest......really?!
Where stand that I'm from munich?

I'm from Koblenz

and yes, I don't know about a boat race...

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05-12-2010, 12:57 AM
  #43
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Originally Posted by René View Post
- There was a poll just two weeks ago and 13,9% of the german people know that there is a WC. 5,7% remembered that Uwe Krupp is the coach, 1,5% remembered the name "Marco Sturm", 0,8% Jochen Hecht and 0,5% Marcel Goc. 95,7% wasn´t able to name one player of the Team Germany. 49,5% of the people do not want to know anything about this WC, 2,7% were "very interested" in it. (source)

- There are 80.000.000 germans and 28.000 Hockey Player (male, female, kids).

- The german main TV-Station ARD realized that their is some kind of an opening game of this WC something like a month ago and just asked if they can chance the timetable and play at five o´clock. In that case they would bring it on the screens - and their movie "tulips from Amsterdam" can stay in place. In the end there just were tulips and no hockey for most of the germans.

- You can´t buy any WC-Merchandising at the big Shopping Malls at Cologne. And we are one of the hosting Citys!

- The German Sports University Cologne, which is the biggest sports university in the world, has no professor for Icehockey. Their is one for Free Climbing, Judo and even Trampoline Jumping - but no Hockey.

.
.
.
.
So, you think that i would qualify as a knowledgeable Canadian hockey fan who just earned his B2 language certification?



Seriously though, that is kind of depressing.

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Old
05-12-2010, 03:47 AM
  #44
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I'm from Koblenz

and yes, I don't know about a boat race...
Yes, Koblenz FTW!!!! I'm glad that I'm not the only NHL fan from Koblenz. And yes, I don't know about a boat race, too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cska78 View Post
so then a Q:"why did Germany need this WC?"
Because we still have some hockey fans.


I think another aspect is that different regions like different sports. Hockey is very popular in Bavaria and is also present in the Ruhr area. In the north of Germany hockey isn't popular at all. On the other hand the north likes handball a lot.

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05-12-2010, 07:46 AM
  #45
Erik Estrada
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I knew of Handball as an Olympic sport but I didn't know it had a serious following besides that. Among the team sports that aren't as popular in NA, I would have thought Cricket, the various forms of Rugby, even Hurling or Australian Rules Football would have arrived ahead in terms of viewership.

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05-12-2010, 09:43 AM
  #46
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I think another aspect is that different regions like different sports. Hockey is very popular in Bavaria and is also present in the Ruhr area. In the north of Germany hockey isn't popular at all. On the other hand the north likes handball a lot.
Well, hockey is a lot more popular than handball here in Hannover for sure.

Sadly, René's post is spot on.

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05-12-2010, 11:25 AM
  #47
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Handball, toughest sport. <3

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05-12-2010, 01:22 PM
  #48
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That's not true. As long as Germans are successful in those sports, they get pretty good ratings on TV, and are pretty relevant throughout the winter. Currently ski jumping isn't that big since the Germans suck, but back in the days where Hannawald, Schmitt and before that Weißflog were winning everybody knew them, unlike even the best German hockey players. Same goes now with Biathlon: I'd bet there are far more people that know Neuner, Wilhelm and Greis than Sturm, Hecht and Ehrhoff.
Ratings for major events are pretty good yes but there's no German biathlon league where 10,000s of people go to see biathlon week-in week-out. Hockey isn't really competing against those sports.

Quote:
why did Germany need this WC?
Because if even say 6% of Germans care about it, that's still about half the population of Sweden and like 90% of the population of Finland or Slovakia and more than enough to get 77,000 people to attend a game?

Germany is relevant as a hockey nation because it is the largest EU country and its population is more than double that of Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Slovakia combined thus it's about the biggest market in Europe to which hockey can be marketed. That's especially true if you consider that hockey is much more relevant in Germany than it is in the UK, France, Spain or Italy.

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05-12-2010, 01:57 PM
  #49
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Ratings for major events are pretty good yes but there's no German biathlon league where 10,000s of people go to see biathlon week-in week-out. Hockey isn't really competing against those sports.
That's true, but the World Cup of Biathlon always has many German fans (indeed 10,000 and more for the few German events) and most importantly it has much more media coverage than Hockey. At least the national team should be able to compete against Biathlon, but it isn't, because the Germans suck at Hockey but win in Biathlon. Hopefully that changes a bit (more success in Hockey, not less in Biathlon ) so that at least events like the World Championship and World Cup of Hockey are shown on one of the major TV stations (at least the games of the German team).

Like I said, the popularity and meda coverage that Handball got in recent years is what I think will be the best that could and should be achieved. Coming even close to soccer just is completely unrealistic and shouldn't be expected.

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05-12-2010, 06:55 PM
  #50
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Another aspect may be that quite some people, like me, play field and indoor field hockey here (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ldhockey08.jpg). While not present on TV at all, there are 70 000 field-hockey players and just 28 000 people playing ice hockey in Germany. It's also easier to find a place to play field or indoor than to find a rink to play on ice. So while ice hockey at least has some TV-presence on pay-tv and in the news during WCs and Olympia, it's hard to actually play it here. People who are interested in playing hockey usually don't end up playing ice hockey, they choose or a forced to play field, indoor or roller.

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