Basketball EM: Cologne profits economically from European fans

After 1522 games in the US basketball professional league NBA, Germany’s most famous off-duty basketball player Dirk Nowitzki knows what the mood in a hall is like. About the atmosphere in the Lanxess Arena during the European Basketball Championship (EM), Nowitzki said in the “ZDF-Sportstudio”: “The mood is great, the atmosphere is amazing.” The Cologne Arena, once again, praised for its event suitability .

Where does Cologne benefit from the European Basketball Championship?

But apart from the atmosphere, international understanding and top-class sport: What ultimately sticks in the city? Do Cologne shops benefit from major sporting events? Especially since a month ago those responsible for the Lanxess Arena were very concerned about the poor ticket sales. Arena boss Stefan Loecher said on Monday: “It could have turned out differently.” According to Loecher, the arena has taken on economic risks, only the past few weeks full of advertising have pushed sales, plus the sporting success of the Germans, so that the Deutzer Hall is now very well filled. Loch calls the numbers a “dream.”

According to Christoph Breuer, business will benefit from this. The head of the Institute for Sports Economics and Sports Management at the German Sports University in Cologne assumes that a fan spends an average of around 50 to 150 euros a day. Ticket costs are not included in these totals. How much a visitor actually spends depends on where he comes from and whether he stays overnight in Cologne.

Full arena: basketball fans from Lithuania at the game against Slovenia.

According to Breuer, a German fan who travels to and from the match day leaves around 50 euros in Cologne, an Australian or US-American around 150 euros because he stays overnight in Cologne. With a view to the basketball nations currently playing in Cologne, such as Slovenia or Lithuania, Breuer assumes around 100 euros per day and fan. Breuer says: “An important factor is the overnight stays of foreign guests. The more of them come to Cologne, the more money stays in the city because they spend the night and use gastronomic offers to a greater extent.”

Arena boss: 7000 basketball fans from Lithuania in Cologne

Loecher speaks of 7,000 Lithuanian fans in Cologne, plus thousands from Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. “That brings millions of euros indirect returns,” says Lochen, referring to the economic effects for the hotel industry, retail and gastronomy.

For example, the Ice Hockey World Championships in 2017 caused an increase in the number of overnight stays in Cologne. According to a spokeswoman for Cologne Tourism, this applies to major sporting events in general, but the company cannot give specific figures. Before the soccer World Cup in 2006, many experts had predicted an upswing in the economy – but later results looked less euphoric in some cases.

Cologne presented ice hockey and handball world championships

The arena in Cologne in particular has a long tradition of such major events, such as the ice hockey world championships in 2001, 2010 and 2017, the handball world championship in 2007 or the final tournaments for the European Champions League title in handball. The latter in particular is now a well-established event in Cologne, and the tournament for the German Handball Cup is new. Before that, the winter game of the German ice hockey league is scheduled for December 3rd in the Rhein-Energie Stadium, followed in 2024 by the European Handball and Soccer European Championships.

Matthias Johnen, Vice-Chairman of the Cologne branch of the German Hotel and Restaurant Association, says: “Cologne has a tradition of being a good place for such events.” The analysis of the situation of sports in Cologne in 2019 also included the point “Major sporting events with media impact “, it remains an image gain for the city. But according to Breuer, it’s not just because of the atmosphere, he says: “Despite all the local patriotism, you have to remember: The atmosphere in the arena is good, but the hard facts are much more important: The Lanxess Arena is the largest German hall and has a convenient location.”

Source: Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger – Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger by

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