Eissporthalle am Westbahnhof
Due to financial problems (bankruptcy) the Moskitos Essen dropped from the DEL to a regional league after the 2001/2002 campaign. The future will tell wether the team will be able to march through the leagues once again (as you can read below), but for now there is no top hockey in Essen.
The arena of the Moskitos Essen is located close to the western train station of Essen, has enough parking available and is easy to reach by train.The Eissporthalle am Westbahnhof has served as a home for the team since it´s foundation in 1992. Even during the first season of the team it became an immediate success at the box-office with more than 50.000 visitors. In 95-96, the team had moved up a couple of divisons and played in a regional league of northern Germany. At that time the capacity of the arena was increased to 5.500. Two years later the team qualified for the 2nd Bundesliga (the 2nd best league behind the DEL), and in 1998/99 the team was the champion of this league. Thanks to the success on the ice and a strong management group the team was allowed to play in the DEL during the 1999/2000 season, a season in which more than 125.000 fans attended the games of the team and the club had more than 1.800 active members. The team finished last in the standings but did not have to move down to the 2nd league again. Taking the incredible succesful history of the club so far into account one can only come to the conclusion that the management will probably be able to put a competitive team on the ice in the near future, even though the team finished a 2nd straight last-place in the 2000/2001 season.
The arena itself leaves a lot of wishes unanswered. The view from the sections for the visiting team´s fans is obstructed, the nets behind the goals could be used for fishing and result in an almost unacceptable bad view on the ice and only the seating-straights allow for a good sight on the ice even though they are not elevated enough and some are (suprise!) obstructed by poles of the roof.
The concession stands are mediocre but at least enough to provide a somewhat fast service.
The real highlight of the arena are the fans of the Moskitos Essen. Noisy and enthusiastic, even when the team looses it´s 10th straight game in a row. Considering that the team didn´t even exist until 1992 and just cut through one league after another in order to climb into the DEL after just seven years in existence the fans probably know how thankful they have to be.
There were a lot of discussions about a new arena but at the moment the talks have calmed down. In 1998/1999 the city of Essen, the hockey-team and the local soccer-club, Rot-Weiß Essen, were discussing an arena-project that would give both teams new homes in order to stay competitive in the future. This plan appears to be dead at the moment and talk about a new hockey-only-arena came up recently even though no actual decisions have been made and knowing hockey in Germany I wouldn´t believe anything until first ground has been broken. Actually even that might be a bit early....
Tips for visitors:
Don´t expect problems with ticket-availability, it might just occur that only tickets
with an obstructed view are the only tickets left at the box-office (and there are many of
those). Don´t buy tickets for the visiting fans, try to stand on the straight where the
Essen-fans are located or to sit anywhere where there is no pole right in front of you. As
far as I can recall the team has not sold out (any?) too many games in it´s existence.
The fan-base is strong and doesn´t mind loosing hockey but it´s not big enough to sell
the arena out.
ESC Moskitos Essen e. V. und Moskito Trend Sport GmbH
Curtiusstraße 2 · 45144 Essen