Finland’s most famous ice hockey club and the Putin friends

Finland’s most famous ice hockey club and the Putin friends

The one with the fool’s cap: After moving to the Russian league, the Jokerit Helsinki ice hockey club is currently trying to get back into the second Finnish league.
Image: picture alliance / Russian Look

Jokerit Helsinki, Finland’s best-known ice hockey club, has been without a hall and a professional team since the beginning of the war. It’s about money, sport and politics in an ominous combination – and about three men.

In the north of Helsinki, between the exhibition center and the television tower, is the city’s largest ice hockey arena. It is the home of Jokerit, the most famous ice hockey club in Finland, and by the way the largest concert hall in Helsinki. In Finland, everyone knows it by the name of the country’s largest beverage company, which has long used it as its advertising space: Hartwall Arena. This hall has been empty for more than a year, along with the fan shop, champagne bar and fast-food restaurant.

Sebastian Balzter

Editor in the economy of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper.

The Jokerit office in the basement is closed. Cardboard boxes placed criss-cross behind the window panes can be seen. The catchy trademark, the likeness of a winking prankster with a jester’s cap, is emblazoned on the wall like mockery. The beverage company has unscrewed its advertising from the facade. There hasn’t been a play or concert here for more than a year. 13,349 free seats throughout.

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