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SBD Global/November 14, 2012/Facilities

Munich Unwilling To Invest In New Arenas, Olympic Bid A Possible Solution

Many sports teams in Munich have no place to play "because the city does not want to spend money on new arenas," putting some clubs in difficult situations, according to Schnitzler & Tögel of the SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG. The city has not provided any hope for a new Munich arena even though German Hockey League (DEL) club EHC Red Bull Munich "longs for it," and Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeneß "demands it vehemently." Munich Mayor Christine Strobl, who is in charge of sports, said there is "low willingness" on a cross-partisan basis in the city council to "invest money on it." Strobl added the city "will be faced with a lot," citing upcoming renovations at the Olympic Park. Due to a missing arena, it is already clear that Munich will miss out on a big-time sporting event. If Germany gets to host the 2017 Ice Hockey World Championships, Munich will not be a host city. Plans for new arenas, created for Munich's Olympic bid for the 2018 Winter Games, "were put back in the drawers" as the city lost out to PyeongChang, South Korea. What remained "was a cross-partisan intention to build at least one new arena with Bayern Munich Basketball and EHC Red Bull Munich as its main tenants." However, nothing has happened so far, Bayern Munich renovated the Rudi-Sedlmayer-Halle for €5M ($6.3M), and the EHC still plays its home games at the 45-year-old Olympic Ice Center. Munich Olympic Park Assistant Managing Dir Arno Hartung said that "there is a general agreement about building a new 7,500-seat arena." City Sports Minister Thomas Urban disagreed with this description and said, "There won't be a new arena." Urban said the city, instead, should think about renovating the Olympic Ice Center to "guarantee long-term elite hockey." Bayern Munich Basketball has a lease with the city through '16, with an option for two additional years. The EHC will continue to play in the ice center, as it has no other option, but the whole dilemma about a new arena could be resolved should Munich bid and get awarded the 2022 Winter Games (SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG, 11/13).
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