BBL season start: basketball players between EM euphoria and energy crisis

After the EM frenzy, the Bundesliga is also hoping for basketball festivals and a boost in the fight for more recognition and public awareness.

BBL season start: basketball players between EM euphoria and energy crisis

After the EM frenzy, the Bundesliga is also hoping for basketball festivals and a boost in the fight for more recognition and public awareness.

"I think that will have a very positive effect. It remains to be seen whether this will go directly into ticket sales. But what is always important, everyone has seen what is possible," said Alba Berlin's managing director Marco Baldi in a survey by Deutsche Presse- Agency. The strong performances of the national team with winning the bronze medal and full halls in Cologne and Berlin make you want more.

"The main opportunity is that basketball has been placed in the shop window a bit and people outside of our "bubble" have been reached who previously had little or nothing to do with basketball," said BBL Managing Director Stefan Holz to the specialist magazine "BIG - Basketball in Germany".

First medal in 17 years

The German team led by captain Dennis Schröder won their first medal in 17 years at the European Championships and their strong performances ensured that the games from the quarter-finals were also broadcast on RTL on free TV. "Through the national team we will gain new fans and also attention for the league and our club, which may also bring new possible partners," said Steffen Liebler, managing director of the Würzburg Baskets.

However, there are also voices that do not expect a major impact on the season, which begins on Wednesday with Alba Berlin's game against Hamburg Towers. "The EM will not ensure that suddenly significantly more spectators come to the games in the Bundesliga," said Göttingen's managing director Frank Meinertshagen. However, she does increase interest in basketball in general. Martin Geissler from Mitteldeutsches BC, on the other hand, has no illusions. "The BBL is a regional phenomenon. Just as the messed up 2019 World Cup did not have a negative effect, we now expect a positive effect."

BBL boss Holz also warns against too high hopes. "It's a myth that a single tournament can change everything immediately. That has never worked in handball or ice hockey either," said Holz. But after two difficult years of the pandemic, the national team's successes have come at the right time. "Basically, all clubs survived Corona well and have now arrived in safer areas again," said Holz. As far as total sales are concerned, they are not yet back at the level they were before Corona.

Location "an enormous challenge"

And with the looming energy crisis in winter and the uncertain development of the pandemic, the next trouble spots are already lurking on the horizon. “The situation is an enormous challenge and we all hope that we as a league will also be able to cope with this crisis with its noticeable effects after the pandemic,” said Bayern managing director Marko Pesic with a view to the energy crisis. When it comes to saving energy, the clubs rely on LED lamps in the halls and photovoltaic systems on the roofs, among other things.

In addition to the professional operation, those responsible also have children and young people in mind. "In the current situation, it is also important that sport remains as a unifying element in society and is not (again) closed. Sports halls must remain open - for popular and top-class sports," demanded Yannick Binas, Fraport Managing Director Skyliners from Frankfurt. Despite all the existing and new worries, the anticipation for the new season prevails. "There are so many stories for fans to look forward to," Holz said.

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