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07.09.2014, 13:29
Record-breaking attendance enjoys German ‘Day of handball’
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NEWS FEATURE: VELUX EHF FINAL4 with successful activation at Frankfurt’s Commerzbank-Arena among 44,189 fans
 

Record-breaking attendance enjoys German ‘Day of handball’

It was the biggest attendance at a handball match and a great show for the spectators. 44,189 handball fans were part of the German “Day of handball” in the Frankfurt’s Commerzbank-Arena, finally seeing a 28:26 win of VELUX EHF Champions League participant Rhein Neckar Löwen in their Bundesliga match against 2013 Champions League winner HSV Hamburg.

Before the show, a team led by German handball legend Stefan Kretzschmar had beaten a selection of TV commentator Frank Buschmann in a celebrity match by 27:23.

Additionally, a tournament including 80 youth teams was part of the event in which entertainment and show also guaranteed a perfect opportunity for fan activation.

Long queues were present in front of the VELUX RoboKeeper, the entertainment provided by the VELUX EHF Champions League. Hundreds of fans and handball celebrities tried to beat the “fastest handball goalkeeper on earth”, but mostly failed.

The VELUX Robokeeper was part of the promotion for the VELUX EHF FINAL4, which will take place on 30/31 May 2015. And some lucky fans, who faced the VELUX RoboKeeper, even won tickets for the event in Cologne.

“It was a spectacular event and a perfect promotion of handball,” said Uwe Schwenker, president of the German handball league: “This was the biggest handball party ever, an impetus for our sport. To have this world record is a nice side effect, but the promotion in general is the most important result of this day.”

Before yesterday’s event, the world record for spectators at a handball match stood at 36,651 fans at the 2011 Danish league final in the Parken football Arena in Copenhagen, where AGK had beaten Silkeborg. The previous record in Germany was an attendance of 30,925 at the Bundesliga match between Lemgo and Kiel in the Schalke football stadium in 2004.

“It was a brilliant event in a spectacular atmosphere,” said former Danish international Lars Christiansen, who was one of the handball legends to face the VELUX Robokeeper and part of Kretzschmar’s team alongside the likes of Magnus Wislander and Daniel Stephan.

Even former German football international Christoph Metzelder, was impressed: “A great day for a great sport. It was a very creative event with a perfect mix of sport and entertainment.”

The agenda of the “Day of handball” included an expert symposium, on how to make handball more attractive.

“This day is a huge step forward for the sport of handball,” said Bernhard Bauer, President of the German Handball Federation: “This day proved that if you work as a team you are successful.” The event was organized by Rhein Neckar Löwen, the German league and the German Handball Federation.


TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor
 
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