Eisstadion an der Brehmstraße
Built in 1935 and probably the most famous hockey-arena in Germany, the Eisstadion an der Brehmstraße has probably seen more highlights than one can even imagine, even though I think that the next highlight should just as well be an honorable closing ceremony followed by a move into an arena that has more to offer than the smell of history.
The arena, which didn´t have a roof until 1969, has a capacity of 10.285 and was used for games of the hockey world championships in 1975 and 1983. The hometeam (DEG) captured 8 championships in it´s long history and had it´s darkest moment in 1998 when the team, more than 20 million marks (10 million dollar) in debt, appeared to be headed into bankruptcy. The team was forced to drop into the 2nd division and after a stellar performance in 1999/2000 and moved back into the DEL, the first division for the 2000/2001 campaign.
Suprisingly many of the fans who were used to top-notch hockey for many seasons in a row did not jump the sinking ship and held on to their team which averaged about 6.000 spectators during the two seasons in the 2nd division, squaring off against small-town teams from all over Germany instead of the big rivals from Cologne or Krefeld. It might have helped that the team slashed ticket-prices dramatically, selling season-tickets to students for as low as 200 marks (100 dollars), but the continuous fan-support probably saved the former flagship of the german hockey scene.
The arena itself has been left more or less unchanged since 1970 and does not live up to the hockey-location of Duesseldorf at all, especially not in a time in which other teams such as the Cologne Sharks or Revierloewen Oberhausen move into NHL-like arenas and many more teams announce construction-plans for new facilities. A scoreboard with the worst videoscreens available was installed a couple of seasons ago in order to give the arena at least a touch of the modern times, but in most aspects the arena comes close to a trash-site. Duesseldorf was also left out when the choices were made where the games of the world championships 2001 would take place in Germany, a clear sign that a new arena should be in store even though neither the city nor the team seem to be in a situation where a deal could be reached or financed in order to move the team.
While it is a known fact that arena-food is expensive and of rather bad taste all around the sportsworld Duesseldorf tops it all easily. Too few concession stands, a food quality that can only satisfy incredibly bad tastes and pretty steep prices make for a really bad combination nobody in Duesseldorf really seems to mind. One probably gets used to it after a while but I can only give a huge thumbs-down here.
After another financial scandal at the end of 2000 and just another period of uncertainess in 2002 the team got a huge financial boost in March 2002 when the Metro AG, one of Germany´s largest retail sales chains, injected a couple of millions into the franchise. The name of the team was also changed from DEG to DEG Metro Stars but with a bright financial outlook for their team few fans seemed to notice.
Tips for visitors:
While the arena might have aged the Duesseldorf fans are still among the most vocal in the league. You won´t find any crowd-animation on the videoscreen, no music during the breaks in the play, the crowd is just always there and supporting the team. The average attendance is also up to an official count of 7.000 now that the team is back in the first division even though nobody really appears to care for a correct count so that one can guess that on most nights more fans are inside than the newspaper tells on the next morning.
Tickets should be available for most games in the standing-room areas. Seats might be sold out for most games, especially on the straight. Behind the goal of the visiting team standing-room areas were taken down and seats installed many years ago. On most nights those seats are pretty empty and I really wouldn´t advise anyone to buy a seat there, the view is rather bad, the net obstructs the view and the angle doesn´t spice up the experience a lot. Better buy a standing-room ticket or shell out some more money for a seat on the straight. Only games against longtime-rivals such as Cologne or Krefeld might result in a sellout during the regular season, in the playoffs, if the DEG qualifies, huge crowds might be common and not an exception.
Standing room tickets are sold for 15 euros, seats cost twice or three times as much,
depending on where you wish to sit.
How to get to the arena:
Source: content of www.eishockeystadion.de
Travelling to Duesseldorf by car:
From the north:
- highway A3
From the south:
- highway A52 (from Essen)
From the west:
Adress of the DEG:
Links to the team: