After the amateur clubs in bavaria, led by the soccer clubs, had pressed hard – even threatening legal action – for a start to the season with spectators, the professional clubs of the indoor sports are now also putting pressure on the politicians.
While from the weekend 19. September 200 spectators are allowed indoors and 400 outdoors at the amateur level, professional sports are still waiting for political decisions a few weeks before the start of the season. In the handball bundesliga in particular, the time until the start of the season on 1. October.
The two french representatives, HC erlangen and HSC 2000 coburg, in particular still face a series of burocratic hurdles. On thursday evening, the two french rivals faced each other in a test match in the coburg HUK arena – erlangen retained the upper hand with 31:30. The plan was for both teams to test their mettle against SC dhfk leipzig, a team from the saxonian national league, on friday and saturday at the same venue. But both games were canceled, because a permit for preparatory games against non-bavarian teams on bavarian soil is still not available to the clubs.
The hygiene concept of the handball bundesliga had to be submitted to the bavarian government for approval – and the review is still ongoing. "For us, this is an unsatisfactory situation, our preparation is massively influenced by it. We are virtually just driving", says HSC managing director jan gorr. The coburg team will play test matches in dresden, hannover and eisenach in the next two weeks. And whether coburg’s home opener in the bundesliga on 6. October against leipzig can take place in front of an audience is still completely open. This is not due to a lack of meticulousness and diligence on the part of jan gorr, who moved from the trainer’s bench to the office just a few weeks ago. The manager recently handed over a 96-page concept for the coburg home venue to the local authorities following an inspection of the hall. "For our team behind the scenes, it’s a very challenging time right now", according to gorr, who hopes to see a uniform solution for professional clubs on the subject of spectators in the next few days.
On average, HC erlangen buries 5000 spectators at its home games in the nurnberger arena. The maximum capacity is 8500. According to the handball league’s hygiene concept, up to 4000 spectators are expected despite the corona crisis. "We have worked out our concept down to the last detail and submitted it to the health authorities", says managing director rene selke. The responsible office in nurnberg has taken note of it favorably. Provided that the government gives in to the demand from the open letter, it could therefore be applied. So that the club does not have to react to every increase and decrease in the regional infectious numbers, the HCE’s plans include a corridor of 2000 to 4000 home fans. For the case that still no coarser audience is allowed, the HC had considered a return to the erlanger karl-heinz-hiersemann-hall.
According to media director thorsten vogt, the bamberg brose basketball team needs at least 2,000 paying spectators per game to ensure that home games do not become a money-spinner. Whether the nine-time german champion will be allowed to let so many visitors into the hall will depend on the hygiene concept that the club is currently drawing up. It is based on the hygiene concept that the basketball bundesliga has drawn up for its clubs.
In the coming week, an institute commissioned by brose bamberg will conduct aerosol tests in the brose arena. "Based on the results, the experts will make a recommendation as to how many spectators should be admitted," says vogt, says vogt. The number of visitors determined in this way will be included in the hygiene concept that brose bamberg plans to submit to the local health authorities for approval at the end of september. The bamberger play their first home game on 14. October in the champions league. The bundesliga starts on 7. November.
At the third-division basketball team BBC coburg, martin vogel, head of communications, explains: "we are fully aware of our responsibility: the prevention of superspreader events and the highest hygiene standards are our top priority. But we have to be given the chance to work economically sensibly and with the necessary caution, without being chained up across the board."
The second-division ice hockey team bayreuth tigers has already submitted a concept to the city of hamburg. "We got the permission, but under the condition of an okay of the state government", says jannik meinberg, assistant to the tigers management, without wanting to go into details. The DEL2 starts on 6. November. Due to its half-open and thus well-ventilated hall, the second-division club was not to be confronted with any major problems. The ice stadium holds 4560 spectators. The average number of visitors last season was 1700.
Volleyball second division team hammelburg is usually supported by 600 spectators at saaletalhalle. The clubs are still waiting for the state government to review the hygiene concept of the volleyball bundesliga (VBL). "Only then will the question arise as to how many spectators the health department in bad kissingen will allow", says press spokesman olly wendt. "So far, we have been advised of 200 fans."