The energy crisis is also causing headaches in the Bundesliga.
Where is there potential for savings when energy prices rise and the supply situation worsens? How can power guzzlers such as lawn heating, floodlights and air conditioning be tamed?
Emergency plans have long been drawn up to become less dependent on gas as an energy source. In amateur football, the word monster “energy lockdown”, i.e. the closing of sports facilities, was already making the rounds as part of a survey by the German Football Association.
The Bundesliga knows how serious the situation is when it comes to saving kilowatt hours. "All clubs have the relevance of the energy supply and the possible shortage for themselves as a top priority. As football, we will do what we can and do everything we can to generate savings," announced DFL Managing Director Donata Hopfen in mid-August at the general assembly of all 36 German professional clubs.
Around a week earlier, the European gas emergency plan to prepare for a possible stop in Russian natural gas supplies came into force. According to the plan, all EU countries will voluntarily reduce their gas consumption by 15 percent by March next year, compared to the average consumption over the past five years during this period.
Stadium lighting is reduced
Since then, the Bundesliga has been trying to step on the gas when it comes to saving energy - even if they wouldn't choose that phrase for sure. One of the most conspicuous measures before autumn, and with it more seriousness, concerns the lighting of the stadiums.
For example, FC Bayern only switches on the red outdoor lighting in the Allianz Arena three hours after dark instead of the previous six. The Borussia Park in Mönchengladbach is no longer illuminated in green every day, but only on matchdays.
The German soccer record champion is also converting the gas-powered undersoil heating to air-heat pumps. Elsewhere, no lights are switched on in corridors during the day, and the room temperature is permanently reduced in offices. One degree more or less means an additional or reduced effort of five percent of the energy consumption, it is said.
"Put more emphasis on sustainability"
"By acting ecologically, we also score with the fans, the media, in politics, and last but not least with sponsors, who are attaching more and more importance to sustainability," said Mönchengladbach Managing Director Stephan Schippers, describing the topic of sustainability as a marketing tool .
Due to the increased energy prices, VfB Stuttgart expects additional costs in the millions and wants to position itself more broadly when it comes to energy sources. The people of Stuttgart are currently heating their lawns and interiors with gas, which could become scarce in winter. "We are currently designing an emergency plan to become less dependent on gas as an energy source," said VfB CEO Alexander Wehrle of the "Stuttgarter Zeitung" and the "Stuttgarter Nachrichten".
Change of game operation?
In order to save energy costs for the Bundesliga, a clear majority of Germans would support switching the game operations to one season from spring to autumn. 34 percent see "definitely" as the right way, 27 percent answered "rather yes" to a corresponding question. According to a representative survey by the opinion research institute Yougov on behalf of the German Press Agency, 17 percent of Germans reject a changed seasonal rhythm.
The switch to the calendar year would also appeal to those who would like to dim the floodlights during the day. The "Lighting systems of the stadiums of the Bundesliga" should illuminate the playing fields properly. In the Bundesliga, an illuminance of at least 1600 lux is prescribed, but it should preferably be 2000 - even if it is sunny during the day. This is intended to guarantee the TV broadcasters a look that is as uniform as possible. One also wants to avoid a "suddenly falling illuminance in the peripheral areas outside the playing field", according to the request.
In Karlsruhe there was also a model test recently, when artificial lighting was not used for half of the time. Hopfen warned at the General Assembly that football should not be misused "as symbolic politics". In the energy crisis, a meaningful sign would certainly not hurt.