Eisstadion Hannover Scorpions
Additional note: Hannover got itīs own brand-new multifunctional facility for the Expo 2000, the Preussag Arena. Beginning with the 2000/2001 season the team will play at the new arena which will see itīs first test for major hockey events during the World Championships 2001 in Germany.
The home of the former Wedemark Scorpions, who decided to rename themselves about 4 years ago into Hannover Scorpions (due to marketing reasons, nobody knew Wedemark when you were 50 miles away from it), is the unbelievable Ice House in Mellendorf, just a few kilometers outside of Hannover, the capital of Niedersachsen (state).
Whoever will enter the Ice House in Mellendorf for the first time and has already seen a couple other DE- and 2. Bundesliga arenas before must have the feeling of entering a third or even lower division arena. You can just smile at this stadium considering the fact that it is supposed to be the home of a DEL team.
Probably the biggest barn in Mellendorf, the building has a capacity of 4000 seats, surrounded by a couple of farms and lowing cows it doesn't really give the impression of a place representing the finest German hockey league. In this case it doesn't even help anymore that the team is trying to be related to Hannover with itīs name.
The stadium itself represents this impression. We can just smile at the fact that it is almost impossible to follow the game if you are in the normal standing room at the straights of the ice-surface because of a maximal heightening of 90cm over the ice (in the lower level) and totally filthy windows. Another point is that all people who are willing to visit one of these games have to squeeze themselves through the narrow entrance (about 5 meters). The fact that the only food place is located at the entrance doesnīt help to control traffic either.
Compared to all other arenas that I have already seen in Germany and all around the
world (with the exception of the Skyrink at the Dragon Center in Hong Kong) the Ice House
of the Hannover Scorpions is the worst one. Bad seating possibilities from the cheap seats
for the road-teamīs fans and even for some of the home fans, who were not able to get a
seat on the acceptable main terrace, acceptable sight from the very expensive seats. The
location in middle of farms, grazing cows and fields and the regular attendance (average
2500) make it easily possibly to turn a great a DEL game into an awful show. Whereas I
would still consider arenas like the one of the Nordhorn Knights to be comfortable
although the equipment oftentimes seems to be more than just scanty is it hard for me to
find anything that I like about the Ice House in Hannover besides the exit.
Tips for visitors:
Whoever really cannot avoid it or is forced by alien powers to celebrate one of these great games in Mellendorf has the choice either to take a train or to use directly the Autobahn to reach the end of the known world. From Hannover's main rail station it will take you another 20 minutes to get to Mellendorf, from this point on you have to walk about 5 minutes to the Ice Palace (taxi around $25). If you would decide to come by car it is advisable to use the A7 in direction Hamburg and to take the exit Mellendorf, this should seal your personal fate and guide your way to the most impressive town ever known.
Meanwhile the admission for the games is forcing many people of Mellendorf to give big parts of their harvest to the Scorpions. To be in the regular standing room will cost you about 23DM, seats on the other hand will cost you between 40 and 50DM. This procedure ensures that the local lord (owner of the Scorpions) earns now a lot more than his ancestors with the harvest/tenth.
Whoever really decides to visit one of these games should be able to make a deep grab into his own pocket to ensure not to be displaced into the standing room. The unacceptable point of view can be relished by viewing the photos behind the link on the left side.