In the summer, promotion to the House of Representatives, which is currently seventh in the strongest second division in years: it goes well for the traditional handball club in Rostock, for HC Empor. But now, Tobias Witttendorf, the club’s president, is publicly threatening the end of professional handball in the Hanseatic city – and a forced relegation. The reason: The city’s own municipal company can hardly give the handball club any dates for next season.
Then the climb will be without a place to switch to Ospa-Arena – this is not possible. The hall does not comply with the rules of the Handball League. City politics is now interfering in the feud between the city council and the handball players. You decide what is important: sports or concerts.
“We have no place in Rostock”
“We are already only allowed to play in the Ospa Arena with a special permit. There will be no more next season,” says Tobias Witttendorf, president of Empor. Since the hall at Hansaviertel is too small to be used for top handball: the second round areas Very small, there are very few dedicated parking spaces for spectators, and there is a lack of warm-up opportunities for professional teams.
Woitendorf says he therefore wanted to talk to city council about the new 2022/2023 season — and received a rebuff: There are enough dates for the second-tier basketball players at the Rostock Seawolves in the country’s largest arena and also for concerts, celebrations and festivals — but not upstairs. “We have to wait in the queue, we only get individual appointments.” Empor’s board explains: “If we don’t have a place, we won’t be able to compete in the second division.”
Withdrawing from professional handball – in his view, it would be fatal for the sports city of Rostock: “Handball is the second most popular sport in sports cars after football – and we are the beacon, the center of state performance.” It also affects the offspring. Woitendorf: “In our view, sports should have priority at City Hall. We don’t want to take a single date away from the Seawolves. Nor anyway. But we don’t want to be fooled by two, three, or four dates either.”
Chief Stadthallen: We’re fully booked
City Council President Petra Burmeister understands Emporers’ concerns. But she can’t give Woitendorf much hope: “We’re fully booked.” and conferences. “I can’t just cancel the regulators. It would cost a lot, a lot of money.”
It’s simply too late: “We’re already planning for 2025, and the first contracts are done four years in advance. It’s very popular in the juvenile field,” Burmeister says. “Why are there dates for Seawolves, but not for handball players: ‘Basketball players are my local team,’ And town hall is a wolf’s cave.” Plus, the Seawolves announced a long-term need — even before the Arena’s renovation in 2018.
There is no space for the two best sports teams at City Hall – at least not permanently: “We’ve rebuilt the hall to make it more attractive for concerts and performances. It works – and I’m really proud of it.” Burmeister: “Rostock lacks a second hall for major events. That’s it Truth. ”
Politics wants sports as a priority
In the discord between the gallery and the town hall, everything now boils down to a word of strength from the citizens. Because the city council belongs to the city – and at the end of the day Burmester can dictate who gets appointments and who doesn’t. According to OZ information, the left and green are already preparing for a similar decision. The SPD and CDU are still debating whether they support the cause.
If the motion finds a majority (if OZ is available), then City Council President Burmester should be forced to prioritize sports in the hall. The leader of the Parliamentary Group of Greens, Uwe Flachsmeyer, says: “From us, Empor and the Seawolves have the full support. The mayor of the town hall cannot declare that she is only available to the sports club. Local sport is more important to us than any show-off event.”
The leader of the SPD’s parliamentary group, Stephen Wandschneider-Castell, is asking those involved to find a compromise: “Both clubs are firmly established in this city. But: there are also people who want to watch concerts and performances. We have to balance that now.” He says that “one group should not be given priority,” which also signifies Burmeister’s commitment to the Seawolves. The best HC Empor games should be held in Rostock. “But there are also games for which you can go to Schwerin.”
New construction plans to be paid
Petra Burmeister, president of the city council, is pushing for a new square to be built in Rostock. It must now be paid. Ostseesparkasse plans to build a hall for the city’s best teams in Kesselborn – across from the town hall. “It will take at least another four or five years for this arena to be established,” said the Stadthallen chief.
Klaus Ruh Madsen – Lord Mayor is also a member of the sports senator – says of the internal squabble: “We are very pleased that Rostock clubs are so committed and celebrate sporting successes. As a city, we see it as our duty to provide teams with appropriate training opportunities. This means increasing the overall hall capacity. for the athletes in our city.”
By Andreas Maier
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