|League||Erste Bank Eishockey Liga|
|Home arena||Erste Bank Arena|
|General manager||Franz Kalla|
|Head coach||Dave Cameron|
|2001–2011||EV Vienna Capitals|
|2011-2017||UPC Vienna Capitals|
|Austrian Champions||2 (2005, 2017)|
Vienna Capitals are an Austrian professional ice hockey club who participate in the Erste Bank Hockey League. Founded in 2001, the Capitals play their home games in Vienna, Austria, at Albert Schultz Eishalle. In the 2004–05 season, the Capitals claimed their first Austrian Championship in defeating EC KAC.
The Vienna Capitals were founded in 2001, after the disbandment of Wiener EV in 2000, to continue the legacy of ice hockey which has been present in the federal capital since 1914. They began competition into the EBEL in the 2001–02 season, under coach Kurt Harand. With good performances they established themselves in mid-table and finished the end of the regular season in fourth place. In the quarterfinals the Capitals swept the Graz 99ers 4: 0 before losing in a sweep to EHC Linz in the semifinals.
In their fourth year of competition and with Jim Boni now the head coach after the disappointment of the previous seasons and a revised squad, the Capitals claimed their first Austrian title in the 2003–04 season. Behind the acquisition of goaltender Frédéric Chabot, the team managed to form a tight-knit unit and ended the regular season top of the league with eight points ahead of the runner-up, the EC KAC. In the semifinals, the Capitals defeated EC VSV in four games and met EC KAC in the final. The first six games of the final series were won by the respective away team, before Vienna won the seventh game 6-2 for their first league title in their history, and the first Viennese club to win in 43 years.
In the following seasons, the Capitals made repeat semi-finals appearances; however, in more recent years the Capitals would suffer from a lack of developing prospects compared to other Bundesliga teams. This was due to the fact that Vienna did not offer a consistent training facility, and team affiliate, EHC Vienna, ceasing its partnership. Beginning in the 2007-08 season, the league enforced a scheme that allowed each EBEL team the commitment of only five transfer card players; as a substitute the so-called points rule was introduced. With the Capitals handcuffed by the lack of available talent Capitals president Hans Schmid tried abolishing the points rule in order to freely acquire players in the future. This sparked heated discussions among the clubs, where it was argued according to the EU labor rules that every hockey player should be allowed free choice of employment, of which any regulations would be illegal.
The home games of the Capitals were played to crowds of up to 4,500 spectators at the comprehensive Albert Schultz Eishalle in Vienna's Danube City. In February 2009 it was announced that the capacity of the hall would be expanded to 7,000 spectators with a retractable roof. Renovation work began after the 2008–09 season and was completed before the 2010–11 season to the cost of 40 million euros. In addition to increasing seating capacity, a parking garage was built and new video screens and VIP boxes were installed.
The Capitals have been the EBEL's best drawing club in attendance, pulling in an average of 4,800 over the years.
Updated 9 July 2019.
- "Vienna Capitals profile". Champions Hockey League. 15 August 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
- "Capitals get new hall for 7,000 fans". Erste Bank Eishockey Liga. 21 February 2009. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
- "Vienna Capitals - Team -Roster" (in German). Vienna Capitals. 21 June 2019. Retrieved 21 June 2019.