Eisstadion Capitals Berlin
July 2002: Once again important information:
In the summer of 2002 the Berlin Capitals, after years of financial hardship, went bankrupt. From then on the former DEL-team will participate in the lower tiers of german hockey (4th league) and, with more luck and better management than ever before, work on it´s return to the main stage quiet a while down the road. Of course nobody is discussing a new arena anymore...
Beginning with the 2001/2002 season the Berlin Capitals will move to the "Deutschlandhalle" until the construction of a new arena has been completed. So far no final decision about the new home of the Capitals has been made, besides the project mentioned in the article above the current talks also include a new home in eastern Berlin which the team would share with the Eisbaeren Berlin. It is unlikely that the team will move to it´s new home prior to 2003 or 2004.
NEW, JANUARY 2002: As I have not visited the Deutschlandhalle on my own and do not have a "source" in Berlin at the moment I can only offer you some pictures of the new home of the Berlin Capitals which you can find as a link on the left side.
Eishalle at the JaffestraßeThe Eishalle at the Jaffestrasse, erected in 1974, is still one of the younger arenas in Germany´s hockey landscape and was used as a provisional substitute for the Sportpalast in Berlin-Schönberg, which was torn down. Berlin´s hockey club at that time, the Berliner Schlittschuhclub, had a lot of success on the ice after the move to the new arena and won the german championship in 1976. But the success had it´s price, and the price-tag was so big that the team went bankrupt right after being crowned as the champion....
The BSC Preussen Berlin were the next professional hockey-club to hit the ice in Berlin. The team also went out of business somewhere along the road and were followed up by the Berlin Capitals, who are still in existence today. Both teams, the BSC Preussen Berlin and the Capitals have failed to capture a title so far, but the Capitals alone made it to the playoff-semifinals 9 times.
The arena itself looks and feels like most arenas of the mid-70s. It´s neither really comfortable nor a wreck. The Berlin Trade Fair, which is located just adjacent to the arena, is trying to get the arena torn down as soon as possible though in order to push forward it´s own expansion plans. There is still a slight chance that the Berlin Capitals have to move to another temporary home in the near-term future, but in 2003 the new Siemens Arena is scheduled to be opened in Berlin-Spandau. The move would put the team into one of the premier facilities on the european continent, and as you can see by a look on the drawings in the picture-section it is clear that the arena will be up to all NHL-standards. The Siemens-Arena will probably allow 18.000 fans to go to the games of the Berlin Capitals and Alba Berlin, Berlin´s basketball team, a number which is three times as high as the current capacity of the Cap´s home.
Despite the fact that it is unforseeable where the team will play until the Siemens-Arena is finished a visit of the team should still offer a nice evening. The fans, average attendance is around 4.000, turn most games into a pretty atmospheric experience and the team is well on path for at least another run at the semifinals.
Tickets are not hard to get normally, only derbies against the Eisbaeren Berlin are always a sellout and I would strongly recommend you to buy tickets in advance.
If you´re somewhat capable of the german language you might check out www.capsfans.de where you will find continuous information about where the team is playing right now and when the Siemens Arena will be finished.
Directions to the arena:
Travelling by car:
Coming from the south from Dresden or via the Autobahn 2 from Magdeburg turn onto the
Autobahn 13 (ring around Berlin) in direction to the exit "Drewitz" (#16), then
onto the Autobahn 115 in direction to "Charlottenburg /Avus" until you get to
the exit "Dreieck Funkturm" (#1). Follow the signs to the "Messedamm"
and you´re there.
Adress of the club:
Berlin Capitals Eishockey GmbH
Office-hours: monday-friday from 10 am until 5 pm
Links to the team:
www.berling-capitals.com (official homepage)