Because there is no ice yet at the Graben, HC Sierre is currently practicing in Brig. And this will not change in the near future. Due to the high temperatures, the authorities have decided to postpone the ice production for another week. "It's too hot," Eddy Beney of the local council says to Le Nouvelliste.
A decision that Alain Bonnet, HC Sierre's president, can understand: "It's complicated to produce ice in the middle of summer, when it's 36 degrees outside, and to maintain it in good condition in such a poorly insulated infrastructure. But we're dealing with it."
As the hot summers will probably return every year, the club and the municipality of Sierre argue for a later start of the season. "Let's play soccer until November and resume ice hockey in October," local council Eddy Beney says. "My colleagues of the Swiss League have the same reasoning," Alain Bonnet adds. "September is too early. In any case, it's difficult to fill the stadiums at this time."
In the short run, HC Sierre has to find solutions for the pre-season games against Lausanne HC (August 12) and EHC Basel (August 16), which were scheduled at the Graben. They either have to take place elsewhere or have to be canceled.