Düsseldorf (dpa) – alcohol ban, distance requirement and stricter safety rules on arrival and departure: the handball Supercup between record champion THW Kiel and number two SG Flensburg-Handewitt will be a big test drive for the Bundesliga operations.
When the two northern rivals play the first title of the 2020/21 season in Düsseldorf on Saturday (8.30 p.m. / Sky Sport News HD), the competition’s hygiene concept will also be put to the test. “Handball with fans in the stands – that’s what we’ve been fighting for for months. The Super Cup is an important step to show that handball deserves a chance to come back,” said HBL Director Frank Bohmann before the traditional season opener.
Five days before the start of the Bundesliga, 2640 spectators can watch the duel between the two top German clubs live in the Düsseldorf ISS Dome. This exactly matches the 20 percent of the total capacity recently allowed by politicians for major professional sporting events. “This is another positive and important signal. A few days before the first day of play, our job is to use this opportunity responsibly and sensibly to build trust and security,” emphasized Bohmann.
The fans should refrain from a beer or glass of wine, as well as exuberant cheers with the people sitting next to them. Inside and outside the hall, both on the square and on the entire event site, a minimum distance of 1.5 meters must always be maintained. In addition, wearing mouth and nose protection is mandatory and strolling through the entire hall is prohibited. Each fan may only stay in the zone indicated on their ticket.
If the concept proves itself, this would be another ray of hope for the industry, which is deeply shaken by Corona. “Then I am confident that more decisions will be made in the near future that will allow our fans to return to our arenas,” said Bohmann, appealing, “I am confident that our fans will be with great passion, but especially with a lot. there will be a lot of discipline in our halls. “
This will also be urgently needed, as ticket revenues make up up to 40 percent of the clubs’ seasonal budget. Marc Weinstock, chairman of the supervisory board of Kiel, already calculated: “We are the club with the most spectators. 2000 fans in the 10,285-strong arena would not help in the long run.” The THW is therefore working on concepts “how, for example, we can get more fans in the arena by using technology with the same security.”
Regardless of the corona problem, those responsible do not lose sight of the sport. After all, there’s a trophy to be won – and it should end in the Kiel showcase if possible. In any case, THW boss Weinstock has set high goals for the season: “Once champion, twice Final4 and at least three times to beat Flensburg – it would be best to start the Supercup on Saturday!”