With its ice stadium, hochstadt has a unique selling point in the region. Because this should remain the case in the future, the city council decided on monday evening with a large majority to build a new ice rink.
In the question of whether to renovate the over 40-year-old stadium or build a new one, the council decided by a vote of 20:4 in favor of a new building. Only andreas hanjes, norbert bechstein (both SPD), eberhard ranger (JL) and franz rabl (CSU) rejected a new ice stadium.
More than a hundred members and fans of the two hochstadt ice sports clubs ESC and HEC made an impression in the run-up to the city council meeting. They had supported the council in front of the kommunbrauhaus with a transparent "our future is in your hands buried. At the beginning of the meeting, representatives of both clubs also presented a package with 3,000 signatures from citizens of hochstadt and the surrounding area for a new stadium.
Mayor gerald brehm (JL) began by saying that ice sports in hochstadt are something special and that there are two strong clubs. The administration had done a lot of preliminary work. After the city council had decided in a previous meeting in favor of ice sports in hochstadt, the only question was general renovation or new construction. "For sensible reasons, there can only be one new building", said brehm. He has already had preliminary talks with the district administrator, and a solution will be found. As the supervisory authority, the district administration must approve the long-term financing.
According to initial planning studies by the engineering firm moller und meyer, renovation of the old stadium would cost 9.5 million euros, while a new building to the north of the old hall would cost 13.5 million euros. Such a lighthouse of leisure sports would be good for the center of hochstadt, the mayor thought. Now there would be a europe-wide tender, in three years it could be ready. Brehm demanded a clear sign from the city council and got it.
CSU spokesman alexander schulz wanted to keep the ice stadium out of the election campaign. The CSU has held many talks – also with the leadership of the hochstadt ice hockey club – and is also committed to a new building. But it must be affordable. A new ice stadium is one of the most important investments in the city, but there is also a need to invest in the aischtalhalle, the secondary school, the indoor swimming pool and in the roads, schulz warned.
The CSU spokesman wanted to limit the capacity of the new hall to 1,200 spectators for cost reasons, and to negotiate the number and size of the booths required. Schulz advocates a new building without the big luxuries. His proposal for a round table, at which planners, club representatives, the administration and the city council factions should discuss what is needed in concrete terms, received approval.
His generation grew up with ice sports in hochstadt, said junge-liste spokesman michael ulbrich. The group had weighed the options and decided on a new building. It is to be financed in the long term over 30 years, which would mean a sustainable burden of 300,000 euros per year for the city.
13.5 million is too much for hanjes
SPD spokesman andreas hanjes rejected the idea of a new building and criticized the fact that there had been no budget discussions about it beforehand. One is responsible to all citizens, 13.5 million euros are too much. Hanjes recalled a redevelopment plan drawn up last year for a federal requirement program, which came to 5.3 million. This was done in a fast-track procedure to meet a deadline, replied mayor brehm. Long-term ice sports cannot be achieved by patching up roofs.
Axel rogner, JL city councilor and long-time HEC president, said he had always been in favor of renovation in the beginning, because a new building would take too long. Now that the figures are in, there has to be a new building, which in his opinion could be done for less than 13.5 million euros. High-class ice hockey only has a perspective in hochstadt with a new building, says rogner. But for this, a capacity of 1500 to 1800 spectators is also needed. The functionary also hopes for demand money from the german ice hockey federation.
Comment by andreas dorsch
Nothing else than a new building
Monday evening was the best-attended city council meeting in years. Whether the many ice sports fans in the overcrowded meeting hall influenced the rate to vote for the new construction of an ice stadium? Hardly. Most rates across all factions had already made their decision for a new ice stadium beforehand – and one can only congratulate them on it. Also for the fact that once a rough project was sent without party-political skirmishes in the apron on the way. With its ice stadium, hochstadt has had a unique selling point in the region for four decades that it should not give up. Ice hockey fans all over bavaria and beyond are familiar with hochstadt. This is not only due to the first team of the HEC in the third league. The alligators’ junior teams have also been on the road for many years throughout bavaria. Hundreds of children have learned to skate in the club. The same goes for the ESC figure skaters. What the ice athletes of all age groups can achieve here, they show impressively in the annual ice gala at the end of the season. But the ice stadium in hochstadt is much more than just the home of two sports clubs. Between league games and training sessions, up to 700 skaters turn their laps in public skating at the same time. A stroll through the parking lot reveals that they have come from all over northern bavaria, often with children and cones. In the morning the schools take care of business on the ice, until late at night hobby teams. Free ice time is practically impossible to get. All this takes place in the 40-year-old stadium, through which the wind whistles, water drips from the roof, the old technology for ice preparation is on the verge of collapse, the cabin situation is no longer up to today’s standards and much equipment can only be accommodated in temporary facilities. With its decision, the city council has set the right course for the future of ice sports in hochstadt. In times when a new building can be financed with interest-free loans over 30 years, a presumably not much more favorable renovation of the old structure should not be an issue.