The Rießersee is a very romantic and very small lake at the foot of the Alps, in the middle of the Werdenfelser Land. In twenty minutes you can walk around the Rießersee on a narrow path and take very nice photos. For example from the lake and the Zugspitze, the summit of which is reflected in the smooth water on a clear day. “We played ice hockey as children, day and night“, says Franz Reindl, allowing himself a bit of nostalgia, although the President of the German Ice Hockey Federation doesn’t usually like to rummage around in the past.
“The mood was electric”
The Rießersee was and still is the godfather of one of the most famous ice hockey clubs in Germany: the SC Riessersee. And Franz Reindl was on the ice for this club for many years. Sometimes he was carried down on shoulders. After big games or even championships, most recently in 1981. It was the last of a total of ten national titles. “There was a concentrated load of ice hockey in town. The mood was electric. Local life and ice hockey were very closely linked“explains Franz Reindl.
The SC Riessersee from the Rießersee
Incidentally, the “place” means Garmisch-Partenkirchen, where SC Riessersee has its sporting home in the Olympic Center. If earlier in the place the big banner “Ice hockey today“was stretched across the street, then 10,000 spectators came regularly,”there was only white and blue – all over“, says Franz Reindl, who saw the light of day in Garmisch almost 67 years ago and who scored well over 300 Bundesliga goals for SC Riessersee before moving to Rosenheim.
Windy business people
But as it is in life, it is also in sport: In success, people sometimes make the biggest mistakes. In Garmisch, in any case, the professionalization of ice hockey failed thoroughly. In the 1980s and 1990s, windy business people came to the club, promising money and glory, and yet wanted one thing above all: To dust off a little fame themselves.
In the once large ice hockey club, breathless impostors, criminal financial acrobats or third-rate actresses now had the say, and SC Riessersee regularly landed on the gossip pages of the press. “That hurt a lot,” remembers Franz Reindl, who experienced the slow decline from close quarters as a manager and trainer, and then from a distance. Riessersee slipped from one bankruptcy to the next and finally drowned in its own fame.
Another reason for the crash
“But in ice hockey there was also a trend from the country to the big city earlier than in other sports“, Reindl looks for further reasons for the decline.”And in the larger cities there were of course different framework conditions for the clubs, which were much better than for SC Riessersee, for Landshut, Rosenheim or Füssen. “ Of course, Reindl also knows that this explanation alone is not enough. In Garmisch-Partenkirchen, for example, they had failed to lay an economic foundation for decades. There was and is no club house and certainly no boarding school and therefore no assets. Even the local horn sledge club has its own hut.
But as I said, Franz Reindl is not the man who, with tears in his eyes, surrenders to struggling nostalgia: “The traditional Bavarian clubs have recognized that they need clear concepts so that they can move forward again.“For some years now, additional ice rinks have been created, and a new stadium has even been built in Landshut. In Rosenheim the club is growing in proportion to the population.
Hope for the U-turn
In Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the makers of SC Riessersee are not only trying to organize top division ice hockey with a black zero, but above all to regain trust that has been lost. Franz Reindl sees his club on the right track. The youth work is exemplary, one not too distant day it should bear fruit again. “The general conditions look good. That can be something again“, says Franz Reindl at the end of the conversation.”But the road is rocky and hard.“
Stand: 09.11.2021, 08:12