The team, which was founded in 1932, had more troubles on and off the ice than one could imagine in the past two decades. In 1987 the team, already out of the NLA after a couple of unsuccesful seasons in a row, dropped into one of the lower regional divison of Swiss hockey due to financial shortcomings. It took the team seven years to return to professional hockey and until the year 2000 to return to the NLB. Finally back on the big stage of Swiss hockey the team now faces huge problems with it´s arena and couldn´t even move up to the NLA due to the arena-restrictions the team wouldn´t be able to comply with. Even though the arena has been partly roofed, most standing-room areas are still open air and on a rainy day a game can turn into quiet a wet experiecen for the fans (would be on the right part of the pictures you can see in the picture-section, all pictures are of the roofed part). Only 4.000 fans are admitted at the moment, a far cry from the 16.000 who were able to go to the games many years ago when the arena was still completly open.
The modern St. Jakobshalle in Basel would be a perfect alternative site for the hockey-games and was already used as a site for a hockey world championships-tournament but for the current season the negotiations between the team and the arena failed due to high financial expectations from the arena´s management.
The fan-scene of Basel is known as one of the most interesting in Switzerland, but many fans feel bullied by the enourmous police-presence for all home- and road games of the team. There is a historic reason for the presence of the police though....
One can conclude that the EHC Basel should be able to return to the NLA somewhere down the road when a new arena-deal is finalized. The fans in Basel, one of the biggest markets (population-wise) in Switzerland, are already anxious about new games against the old rivals from Zurich, the ZSC Lions!
http://bsc.buz.ch (inofficial homepage)
www.hockeyfans.ch (inofficial homepage)
When you´re in Basel just drive/walk in the direction to the main train station. You should find signs leading to the arena once you´re in that part of town. Just follow the signs and hope that it doesn´t rain during the game....