German ice hockey match heads to Prague


German league copies ice hockey winter classics Image: Penny and DEL

For the first time in the more than 30-year history of the German Ice Hockey League (PENNY DEL), a league game will be played on foreign soil next season.

Sports Business said the Grizzlys Wolfsburg and EHC Red Bull Munich will meet on December 6, 2024 in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, as part of the Winter Hockey Games.

The move comes as PENNY DEL and the Czech Tipsport Extraliga deepen their close cooperation within the framework of Hockey Europe, the association of the professional European ice hockey leagues.

PENNY DEL, is a German professional ice hockey league and the highest division in German ice hockey. Founded in 1994, it was formed as a replacement for the Eishockey-Bundesliga and became the new top-tier league in Germany as a result.

The Czech Extraliga is the highest-level ice hockey league in the Czech Republic. It was created in 1993 following the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia midway through the 1992–93 Czechoslovak Extraliga season. The league’s season usually takes place between September and April and features 14 teams.

The match to be played in Prague is part of an ice hockey event in which a total of seven games will take place from December 5-8 in a specially built open-air arena with a capacity of 16,000 spectators on Prague’s Letná hill.

This includes two games from the first Czech league, one game from the first Slovak league and a “legends” game with ice hockey stars from the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Magenta Sport will broadcast the game between Wolfsburg and Munich live, like all other games in the 2024/25 PENNY DEL season, which begins on September 19.

Gernot Tripcke, Managing Director of PENNY DEL, said: “We are very pleased that we can continue our good cooperation with the Czech Extraliga through this international premiere.

“At the same time, it is a great honor for us that a PENNY DEL game is so important to our partners in the Czech Republic that they want to enhance their event with it. And for the fans of our two teams from Wolfsburg and Munich, the trip to Prague will certainly be a special experience.”

Martin Loukota, Managing Director of Tipsport Extraliga, added, “We have already built up a certain tradition through the past games between Litvinov and Sparta in Dresden and Karlovy Vary and Plzen in Klingenthal.

“So we now felt that it was time to invite teams from the PENNY DEL to the Czech Republic. There will definitely be great games in front of a large crowd just before Christmas. All German ice hockey fans are cordially invited to come to Prague for this special event!”

Karl-Heinz Fliegauf, Sports Director and Managing Director of Grizzlys Wolfsburg, emphasized, “Our entire club was immediately enthusiastic about the idea of playing our home game against Munich in Prague as part of the Winter Hockey Games. This event will be a great and unique experience.

“We will put together attractive travel offers for our fans, but also offer compensation options for this home game. We are all already looking forward to a unique event against Munich on the historic Letná Hill in Prague.”

Christian Winkler, Managing Director Sports Red Bull Eishockey, added: “The opportunity to play a DEL league game outdoors for the first time in our history is great news. Both for our fans and for our organization. We will try to put our stamp on the Prague winter and return to Munich with three points in Santa’s sack.”

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