Dresden looks for arena solution

Dresden looks for arena solution

25 Jul 2012 | Dennis Mende

2. Bundesliga team Dresdner Eislöwen needs a replacement arena

In February 2012 it was discovered that the roof of the EnergieVerbund Arena, home stadium of the Dresdner Eislöwen, is severly damaged. Through cracks allover the roof water entered the floor. As an first emergency solution a temporary roof cover in the value of 150,000 euro was installed to make sure no further water enters the arena.

The roof has to be renovated completely in the near future. Work could already start in late July 2012 and last until October of the same year. A decision regarding the construction work is expected to come soon. The Eislöwen wanted to hold their home games in the EnergieVerbund Arena also in 2012-13 but the city informed them that this would be too dangerous as the roof is still not stable enough.

The current situation causes several major problems for the Dresdner Eislöwen. They don't know yet when they can return into EnergieVerbund Arena and have too look for a replacement arena. As there are no other appropriate arenas in Dresden, the team has to decide whether it makes more sense to use a portable ice rink including stands within the city or to play in a neighbouring city with a appropriate arena. The only ice rink left in Dresden is the training rink of the Eislöwen which doesn't fulfill the criteria for professional ice hockey and to play there would have to be approved by the league and the other teams - the same is the case if the team would ask league and teams to only play away games until the roof construction has been completed.

As long as there is no final solution the Eislöwen have financial problems because they can't yet sell season tickets. The city of Dresden doesn't want to give a guarantee although they could lose an important tax payer. According to the Eislöwen the city gets around 500,000 euro annually for arena rent and catering.

On Friday, 20 July 2012, the Eislöwen received a letter by the ESBG (the association of the 2. Bundesliga teams), in which they were threatened to lose their license if they won't find a solution until 25 July 2012. And this only two days after the ESBG general meeting in which the teams promised to handle the situation in Dresden carefully. The Eislöwen immediately said they would take legal steps against any decision leading to a loss of their license.

The fans in Dresden used the chance to make the current situation public and showed their presence in front of the EnergieVerbund Arena. Additionally they wrote an open letter to Dresden mayor Helma Orosz to intensify the political pressure.

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