The DEL (Germany’s professional hockey league) had its first ever Winter Game over this past weekend. The game, held at Stadion Nürnberg, featured the Nuremberg Ice Tigers and the defending DEL champion Eisbären Berlin Polar Bears. A record-setting 50,000 fans were present to watch the hometown Ice Tigers defeat the defending champs 4-3.
As historic and record-setting as the first DEL Winter Game was, nothing topped the insane post-game pyrotechnics show. It lasted about four minutes and cost a whopping one million euros. Check out some footage of the show:
Here’s another look:
While it has yet to be determined, there are talks of making the DEL Winter Game an annual event that will be held in various soccer stadiums throughout Germany.
“It was very special to experience this goose-bump feeling for a couple of hours,” the league’s managing director Gernot Tripcke said. “They created an event that will be hard to top. The Winter Game premiere impressively showed all doubters the attention our sport can unfold in Germany. We have to build on this.”
Whether the Winter Game will become an annual event in the German hockey calendar or not, Tripcke was not able to confirm at this stage. But after the successful premiere there’s the chance it could become custom to make use of football stadiums during the kickers’ winter break.
“Enthusiasm alone won’t be enough. It needs the right place and a stadium of a certain size,” he said.
And an organizer that is ready to take the financial risk.
“It would be great if we could say in ten years it was in Nuremberg where this success story started,” Tripcke said.