As I have been in Berlin but could not and did not really want to do a full coverage of the German Floorball Final4 for various reasons, I at least attended the event as a spectator. A nice reason to visit the large Max-Schmeling-Halle, which has been hosting the event. The 11,900 spectator arena is typically hosting Handball Bundesliga matches of the Füchse Berlin as well as top-class Volleyball with the Berlin Recycling Volleys. Thus, it has been a milestone for Floorball Deutschland to have such an upscale event in Germany’s capital. A good opportunity to share some thoughts with you and do an arena review.
Max-Schmeling-Halle – Location & Traffic
Max-Schmeling-Halle is located slightly North of Berlin City center in Pankow. It is part of a recreation and sports complex, which also hosts the Velodrom cycling track and event space and the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark, which includes a major soccer and athletics stadium. There are a few kiosks and restaurants around.
Floorball Final4 at Max-Schmeling-Halle – Arena & Ticket Situation
Max-Schmeling-Arena has been opened in December 1996. It comes with a capacity of 11,900 spectators for concerts and some 8,500 for sports events (thereof some 7,500 fixed seats). It is designed to serve as a multi-purpose arena and comes with several side arenas. The 2022 Floorball Final4 only used the lower ranks, which should lead to a maximum capacity of some 3,500 spectators. Remarkably, the seats are not foldable, but fixed, which leads to very relaxed seating. The arena is quite well designed with wide aisles The location of the toilets on both corners of one side of the lower ranks has been a bit bothering. The arena also did not run on full capacity of its services, e.g. catering.
Apart from Covid-related restrictions, the ticket situation for the Floorball Final4 has been very relaxed. Especially for Füchse Berlin handball matches, this might be very different. Day tickets for the floorball event have been around 16 Euro, but even handball tickets are very moderate. The poshest seats for the Handball Bundesliga are about 40 Euro (excluding VIP/Business seats). The view from all lower rank seats is really good, also given the fact that the interior space typically holds additional seats / standing areas.
Floorball Final4 – Atmosphere
I just visited the semifinal matches on Day 1 (Saturday, 5th March 2022) of the event. You still could feel the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic. The attendance was rather limited and peaked at about 1,200 during the semifinals. However, some clubs had some quite nice fan support, majorly SSF Dragons Bonn, ETV Piranhhas Hamburg and DJK Holzbüttgen, so that the atmosphere has been not that bad. The event, which has been hosted by the host of the local professional ice hockey team, Eisbären Berlin, overall felt very professional.
Finally the two women matches, in which ETV Hamburg beat MFBC Leipzig/Grimma advanced to the finals, where they played against SSF Bonn, the winner of the second semifinal, were more thrilling than the two men semifinals, in which the advancing teams already felt to have settled their victories in the second period.
Max-Schmeling-Halle – Food & Shopping
The arena typically offfers a wide range of food. They even advertise a vegan outlet in the arena. However, due to the low ticket sales, not all options were available. The service felt to be rather efficient – they simply did not need to organize better that day. I could imagine that grabbing a drink and a bite is challenging during well-sold handball matches, though. I went for Berlin’s original, the Currywurst (curry sausage), which has been at most average in quality. Other arenas do better here. There are no high tables or similar to have your meal.
Of course, the floorball event also featured some specific shopping and entertainment opportunities.
Floorball Final4 Semifinals at Max-Schmeling-Halle – My View
The Final4 semifinals have been a good reference event for the German floorball community. The arena did their part as well. The traffic connection is good (even though I felt it is not ideal), I liked the wide aisles and the easy commuting through the arena. On the negative side, the location of the toilets and missing tables are a bit strange.
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