Rumors have been circulating in the past few days that the city of Freising intends not to open the ice rink this season to save on energy costs. The fact that the refrigeration system was defective, as reported by the city administration, was only an excuse. “The ignition has to stop,” demanded Sebastian Wanzke from the city association for sports in view of the rumors. City officials resolutely opposed this during a press conference on Friday. As long as there are no other instructions from the federal or state government, the ice will soon be prepared in Freising, was the unanimous tenor. Andreas Sten from the SE Freising ice hockey department said a technical defect was excusable. Something like that can always happen. The club just has to see how it bridges the coming weeks.
Karl-Heinz Wimmer, head of the Freising Sports Office, said that too much was being interpreted into the technical defect in the refrigeration machine. The discussion about it took on a life of its own. The breakdown is not a tactical action by the city. “It’s annoying for everyone,” Wimmer stated. Bernhard Knopeck said everything had been done to keep the date for the opening of the ice rink in the coming week. “People have been working beyond their limits,” he assured. “Then came the great catastrophe.”
Walter Flad, managing director of the Weihenstephan technical office, explained that there was an initial delay in the installation of the new refrigeration system shortly before work began. The company that should have done this canceled three days earlier. A new company had to be found. This used up the time buffer of four weeks.
The machine has two piston compressors – and both pistons have seized
The highly efficient machine consists of two piston compressors, Flad said. The first time it was put into operation, a bearing damage had occurred. The piston got stuck. This was repeated on the second. The first component has now been replaced and could go into operation. But to make ice, the machine needs to be working at full capacity. It could be as early as next week. “We’re doing everything we can to get the difficulties out of the way,” assured Flad. A trial operation, as sports consultant Jürgen Mieskes would have liked, was not possible. Among other things, because this would have overloaded the power grid in the Luitpoldanlage during the folk festival.
Mayor Birgit Mooser-Niefanger referred to a suggestion that the Free Voters had expressed on Thursday in the city council meetings: whether the delay in the opening of the ice rink caused by problems with the new ice machine should not be used as an opportunity to suspend operations completely this year, Benno Zierer formulated a cautious request in the city council. In view of the fatal situation with electricity and gas prices, one could “set a sign”. The money saved could be used to benefit people in social need, said the FW city council and state parliamentarian and appealed to discuss this idea honestly and without emotion. This would “meet the responsibility of the city council.”
In fact, the proposal met with little approval from the city council. If you weigh the benefits of the ice rink and/or the “Fresch” leisure pool for school sports, but also for the general public against the possible savings, you have to clearly speak out in favor of continued operation, said Mayor Eva Bönig for the Greens parliamentary group. Peter Warlimont (SPD) admitted that such a step could be considered, but the “lesson from the Corona period” remained for him that restrictions, especially for children and young people, should be avoided if at all possible. Warlimont: “There are better things than such a symbolic act.”
Jürgen Mieskes “does not want to impose a sports lockdown because of the energy crisis”
Sports consultant Jürgen Mieskes (CSU) formulated his rejection more strikingly. Zierer would be happy to submit such applications to the state parliament, he said, but as a sports consultant in the city of Freising he was “strongly in favor of not imposing a sports lockdown because of the energy crisis”. If the federal government or the federal states were to order something like this at some point, it would be something different, according to Mieskes, but Freisinger would not need to go it alone. Ultimately, you would have to close all other sports facilities and halls, he argued. “I think that would be the wrong way to go about it,” said Birgit Mooser-Niefanger (FSM), who rejected the proposal across the board. Of course, the city of Freising must also take stock of where energy can be saved, and that is already happening – “but not in sports of all places”. Nonetheless, Zierer renewed his call for a factual discussion on this topic – “even though I know that I don’t make friends with it everywhere”. He did not say whether the free voters would still submit the application in view of the mood in the Freising city council.
Flad remarked that such an application should be considered carefully. The city received substantial subsidies for the chiller. But only if they put it into operation before the end of this year. If she didn’t make ice this season, those grants would be lost. Nobody would want to accept that.
Bianca Leitenberger from the Freising figure skating club referred to the high costs caused by the training times on foreign ice. She put them at 120 to 140 euros. Birgit Mooser-Niefanger asked Leitenberger and Sten to give the city administration specific figures for additional expenses. City Councilor Hans Hölzl assured that there is definitely the possibility of compensating the clubs for their efforts.