Six big arenas plus world record game in Dusseldorf: Parallel to the tournament in Croatia, the German application for the EM 2024 is taking on ever sharper contours. The presentation must be ready by the weekend.
Mark Schober is hardly visible in Croatia these days. At least not in the German camp. The CEO of the German Handball Association has his hands full. While the handballers are struggling for points and placements, Schober, together with President Andreas Michelmann, is pushing ahead with the German application for the EM 2024.
“You have to clean the bells properly,” Schober told the “SID”. The presentation, which will be decided at the EHF Congress in Edinburgh in June, must be ready by the end of the weekend.” We have many individual conversations and try to convince through arguments. We are trying to explain to people why they should vote for Germany.”
The basic structure of the concept on which the 52 members of the European Trade Federation vote on June 18th. Under the title “Great Sport, Great Engagement”, the plan for the tournament with 24 teams across Germany provides for six large arenas, all of which attract more than 10.000 spectators, and an opening game in the Esprit Arena in Dusseldorf. 50.000 fans should then set a world record in handball.
Women’s World Championship as an example?
“That’s a lot. But we think it’s a good idea,”Schober said. DHB boss Michelmann hopes that the possible new best brand in the Rhine metropolis will be a “big plus” for the campaign, which “hopefully convinces”. The world record for spectators at a handball game is currently held by 44.189 fans and was set in September 2014 at the Bundesliga party of the Rhine-Neckar Lions against HSV Hamburg in the Frankfurt football arena.
Berlin, Hamburg, Mannheim, Cologne, Munich and Kiel are also being considered. But Halle, Oberhausen and Dortmund also meet the ambitious capacity criteria.” We want to offer great sports with many fans. This is already a great challenge, but we believe that we can do this because the German spectator also likes to watch games from other nations. We have just experienced this at the Women’s World Cup,”Schober said. Until now, Germany has never held a men’s handball championship.
EHF President: EM in Germany “very interesting”
Competitors of the German application are the joint campaigns of Denmark/Switzerland and Hungary/Slovakia. According to EHF President Michael Wiederer, the German chances would be “very good. With France, Germany is one of the nations that can also host an EM with 24 participants because of the spectators’interest and because of the hall situation alone,”said again recently the”Handball Week”. For European handball this would be “without question very interesting”.
DHB-man Schober rejoice warm words again. But in order to convince the 52 associations, things like “transport, accessibility, accommodation and good hosts” would also be crucial in the end.” I am very happy that we were able to show at the Women’s World Cup that we can do that. We have a relatively high standard,”Schober said:”I think we have a good chance.”
By the time the decision is made in the summer Schober and Michelmann will have to shake a lot of hands and convince in talks with as good arguments as possible.