Eisstadion EV Duisburg
It has been a long time since I went to my last 2nd division hockey game. But after watching game six of the playoff quarterfinals (during the afternoon) I was still in the mood for more hockey and decided to take the train to Duisburg for a game at night. It becomes obvious that there are a lot of differences between hockey in the 1st and 2nd division if one watches two games in such a short time.
But let me start right at the beginning: I took the S-Bahn (street-train?) and left at the Duisburg Schlenk-stop (south of the main station), which I would recommend to everyone coming from the Duisburg Main Station or Düsseldorf as well. Taking the bus to the arena takes quiet a while and without knowledge of the city can be quiet confusing. Going there by car might be the best choice after all as the arena is right next to the arena of the MSV Duisburg, Duisburg´s soccer club, where one can find more than enough parking spaces to accomodate a typical hockey-crowd in Duisburg.
When I tried to buy tickets at the arena I encountered an unpleasant suprise. No, the game was not sold out (they are almost never even close) but the ticket-prices were quiet high. A reduced standing room ticket sold for nine euro; if you go to a first divison game in Krefeld it´s 8.50 and in Düsseldorf it´s 10. And the quality of the game definetly doesn´t justify the price at all. I have seen a lot of bad first division hockey over the past few years but overall the games are a lot more interesting and plain simply better. Especially the technical abilities of the players in the 2nd division are a lot wore, you basically won´t find checks and slapshots at all. The game was not as "stiff" from a tactical point of view as many games in the higher division (less trapping), but that didn´t help a lot. If the players in the lower divisions have more freedom on the ice in general is something I can´t judge, but in this contest it seemed to be so.
The game I witnessed was described as good on the homepage afterwards, something I would only accept for all five goals which occured. Two of them were really nice and in the end Riessersee defeated the home-team by a score of 3:2 in overtime.
I really had a lot of fun in the standing block of the visiting team. Of the 1.300 fans inside the building (capacity is 4.800) about 20% supported the famous club from Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Riessersee) and most of them came from Düsseldorf. There was a lot of funny singing and Greg Poss, the former coach of the Iserlohn Roosters (first division), started the wave after fans spotted him and Riessersee had grabbed the lead with two quick goals after being down 1:0 in the early going.
Duisburg´s fans were a dissapointment. Many had jerseys of their team but the atmosphere was rather dull. A few drums, a bit of clapping and yelling but that was it.
The building was one of the pleasant suprises in Duisburg as the view was quiet good from all spots or seats in the building. A short visit to the bathroom was not quiet as pleasant though as the smell was, well, I don´t think I have to go into details here. The heating was also running as high as possible on the bathroom which didn´t help a lot. With closed eyes one could have imagined oneself somewhere on Hawai, at least if the smell I just mentioned hadn´t been there...
The food is the same as one can find at most first division clubs. Which still doesn´t say that the food is any good. The fries looked really well though but I limited myself to a beer which tasted rather good but was very expensive with 2.70 euro. There were not a lot of lines at the concession stands but if more than 2.000 people show up I could imagine the situation to become annoying with the few points of sale the arena has. And if 4.800 would show up...
Another highlight is a tablehockey-game which was surrounded by many young fans. Nobody wanted to challenge me though...
Bottom line: If you happen to be in Duisburg on a game-day or if you even have to live there it can´t hurt to buy a ticket, I wouldn´t recommend it though if you have to put a lot of effort into it.
Chart of the arena:
Address of the club:
Links to the team:
http://www.ev-duisburg.de/ (official homepage of the team)
http://www.eissporthalle-duisburg.de/ (homepage of the arena)