In 1989 the HC Thurgau was founded when the local EHC Frauenfeld and the EHC Weinfelden merged. Later the EHC Kreuzlingen also became part of the HC Thurgau and the rather skeptical people of the area started to warm up with the idea of a big hockey-club right outside their front door. The team began it´s life by buying a license for the first division, which is the third division behind the NLA and NLB.
In 1992 the team managed it´s break-through when it advanced to the NLB. The whole area started to turn in onto the team and the average attendance climbed above 3.000. Most games were played at the old but nice arena of Weinfelden, games that were expected to draw huge crowds were played at the larger arena in Kreuzlingen.
The HC Thurgau established itself in the NLB and came close to the NLA twice in the 90s, loosing in the playoff-semifinals each time (the 2nd time against their arch-rival SC Herisau which managed to advance to the NLA for a short period of time).
But the great years didn´t last forever and since it´s 2nd appearance in the playoff-semifinals the local fans didn´t have a whole lot to cheer about. The team was also close to bankruptcy after the 1999/2000 season and a businessman from Zürich took controll of the team. The team-colours were changed, the team was moved to the brand-new Bodensee-Arena in Kreuzlingen and many fans turned their backs to the club. Today the enthusiasm and interest in the area are almost completly gone (2002), but maybe there is another break-through just a few years away...
The Arena8.8 million Franken (approximatly 5 million US-dollar) were invested into a new arena-project at the Bodensee on the 3th of June 1998. Kreuzlingen (Switzerland) and Konstanz (Germany), both cities being located right next to each other at the border, contributed to the project and own parts of the Bodensee-Arena, which was finalized in 2000 and is controlled by the Kunsteisbahn AG these days. The arena also became the permanent home of the just-sold HC Thurgau.
Before the construction of the Bodensee-Arena the Eissporthalle Kreuzlingen-Konstanz served as the local ice-rink and as a home for games of the HC Thurgau with good crowds. Build in 1978 it was used for ice-sport only until more and more other events were held from the mid-80´s onwards. From spectacular ice-skating events to many concerts and games of the national hockey team of Switzerland almost everything one can imagine has taken place inside the old building. Games between Germany and Switzerland (for example in 1981) or even games between Germany and Finnland (1993) drew sellouts of 4.500 on a regular basis. 10 years after the upswing of the arena´s importance it´s decline began as many better arenas around both countries stole events from the area. It took both cities three years to react to the new circumstances, but with the construction of the Bodensee-Arena the area seems to be a good stop for many events again.
With a capacity of 6.000, mostly of those are seats, (there are only standing-room tickets available behind one of the goals at the end of the rink) the arena is bigger than necessary for the local hockey-crowds. Nevertheless the fans of the HC Thurgau are known for creating a special atmosphere at their games (at least those who still remain) so that a visit should add nicely to each vacation in the area. The team is also a partner-team (somewhat of a farm-team in US-terms) of the Kloten Flyers in the NLA, the highest division of professional hockey in Switzerland.
Tipps for visitors:
As tickets should be well available there is not really a whole lot I can write here. Even good games shouldn´t result in sellouts and there are also no real bad seats in the house. If you wish to stand you should remember that standing-room tickets are only available at one end of the rink. With not really too many good tipps to write about here I will just advise you to try a hockey-game at Thurgau when you´re in the area, it should make for a nice evening...
Adress of the team:
Hockey Bodensee Euregio AG
http://www.hcthurgau-fanclub.ch/ (fanclub of the team)
http://www.bodensee-arena.com (Homepage of the arena)
http://www.east-amigos.ch (Fanclub of the HC