Friday, 14 January 2011

Home Sweet Home: EV Zug move to the Bossard Arena

PIC: Stephen McCaskill

In the summer of 2010, EV Zug completed the move from their home of over forty years to a brand new, ultra-modern arena. The need for a new stadium had been apparent for some time as the Eishalle Herti, in which EVZ have played since 1967, had not aged well and plans were made to move. The end result was the 7,015 capacity Bossard Arena which is billed as the most modern hockey stadium in Switzerland, and after my first visit, I am inclined to believe the hype.

The old Herti could be best described as a giant shed with an ice rink inside. Seats were cramped and uncomfortable while standing areas were even worse. Every facility within the stadium, be it turnstiles or food stands, felt squashed and compacted. While some fans have bemoaned the loss of atmosphere, there is no doubt that the old arena was unsuitable for a top-flight hockey team in the 21st century.

The Bossard Arena improves on the old stadium in almost every conceivable aspect. Firstly, the seats are spacious and easily accessible while standing areas exist for both home and away supporters. A giant LCD screen above the rink replaces the archaic scoreboards while modern lighting creates a sense of spectacle. Entering and exiting the ground is no longer a chore while areas inside the stadium are much bigger, ensuring that facilities don’t feel like an afterthought.

Hospitality has also been improved dramatically. While this is probably of no concern to those cheering on EVZ in the stands, the new facilities will surely increase revenue. As one of the wealthiest towns in Switzerland, if not Europe, Zug is host to a number of multinational corporations and the new dining and hospitality areas will hope to attract a greater number of corporate events. A new restaurant overlooks the ice and allows diners to eat while watching the game and a private room is available for functions. These facilities are a drastic improvement on the previous hospitality tent, which although offered great service, was situated outside of the stadium.

I was fortunate to be able to sample these facilities during my visit to see EVZ face local rivals Zurich. EVZ are enjoying a good season and are currently in 3rd position in the NLA having already qualified for the post season play-offs. Games between these two teams are usually feisty encounters and this was no exception with a number of penalties issued by the match officials. The ZSC Lions barely troubled EVZ who emerged comfortable 3-0 winners in front of a capacity crowd, who were delighted as seeing their team defeat the 2009 European and Victoria Cup champions.

While there was great sadness that accompanies any such move, the move to the Bossard Arena will hopefully be a positive one for the club as they aim to add to their only championship, which they won in 1998. Some fans may miss the old ground, but if it’s good enough for Kimi, it’s good enough for me.

Match Photos: EVZ 3-0 ZSC Lions


  1. Nice article.

    Admittedly my only experience of a hockey arena is here in England which doesn't quite compare, but as you say there will always be traditionalists who don't want to move from their original home, but hopefully most fans will see that it's for the best.

    What's the standard of hockey "in der Schweiz"? I know it must be better than over here since quite a few ex-NHL players have been in the league ( Alexandre Daigle, anyone? ;) )

  2. Its all about Holden at EVZ. That guys is a beast. Definetly the best thing to be drafted into Canada and make the right choice oot

  3. Hey J Mo, cheers.

    The standard is fairly decent, it's not as strong as Russia or Sweden, but it's among the best leagues in Europe.

    We have a few ex-NHLers but most of the league are either Swiss or Canadian/American expats.

    The player that hloustagen refers to was drafted 12th overall in the NHL Draft for the Canucks, came to Europe during the lockout and has stayed since.

  4. A giant LCD screen above the rink replaces the archaic scoreboards while modern lighting creates a sense of spectacle.nice post thanku for sharing

  5. Rugby Hospitality
    Every facility within the stadium, be it turnstiles or food stands, felt squashed and compacted.nine post good information in this blog