The opening date for Swiss Life Arena, the new home of Swiss ice hockey team the ZSC Lions, has been pushed back due to problems relating to the venue’s roof.

The 12,000-capacity arena had been due to open in time for the start of the Swiss ice hockey season in September. Abnormalities with individual screws used in the roof construction will mean that the Lions’ first game at the arena will now take place in November.

The Zurich arena is due to be a host venue during the Floorball World Championship from November 5-13. The Lions said this event will take place as planned at Swiss Life Arena, after which the team will be able to play its first games at the venue.

In the week before Christmas last year, quality controls revealed “irregularities” in the assembly and material of individual screws on the arena roof rack. General contractor HRS immediately ordered an inspection by the regional branch of Empa (the Swiss Federal Materials Testing and Research Institute), which led to the construction being closed as a precautionary measure.

Construction work in the annex areas resumed on January 17 and all statically required screws on the roof construction will be replaced for safety reasons.

The Lions are hoping to train in the arena from the end of August 2022, but an exact date for the team’s first game at the venue has not yet been confirmed. The Lions will be forced to play all league games away from home until mid-November.

The Lions currently play at the Hallenstadion and the team said the venue would not be available for use at the start of the 2022-23 season. The Lions also noted the “potentially very high costs and logistical efforts” involved with securing an alternative home venue until Swiss Life Arena is ready.

Zurich will be co-hosting the Floorball World Championship alongside Winterthur.

Image: ZSC Lions