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SBD Global/January 17, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Hamburg Businessman Presents Plan For Hamburg Basketball Bundesliga Team

A building complex called "Am Inselpark" in Hamburg, Germany, which was built for around €13M, "could someday become the home of a Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) team," according to Rainer Grünberg of the HAMBURGER ABENDBLATT. The remodeled arena "could offer seating for 3,500 people." The city and the district of Wilhelmsburg "would welcome such a development." So far, the idea "is only a vision, but for the first time in four years there are serious plans to bring a BBL team to Hamburg." Hamburg businessman Wolfgang Sahm, 50, who is the managing director of Sahm Consulting GmbH, "has presented his concept in front of the city's chamber of commerce, Sport Senator Michael Neumann and Sport Office Dir Thomas Beyer." The talks with potential sponsors, investors and public authorities "are so far advanced" that former German national team player Pascal Roller, who supports Sahm's efforts as a consultant for sports marketing agency United, said: "It isn't the question anymore if Hamburg gets a Basketball Bundesliga team, but only when." The city has the foundation for a top-flight team with four teams in Germany's youth basketball leagues JBBL and NBBL. Roller said, "Basketball is a perfect fit for Hamburg, the interest in the sport is big here. In addition, the league and its sponsors want teams in metropolitan areas." Should Hamburg get a BBL team, Roller "would become the new team's sport director." The Hamburg Towers "could join the BBL as early as September" when the '13-14 season starts. A Wildcard, which is awarded by BBL shareholders at the end of April, "could make it possible." The most-important requirement for getting a Wildcard "is a solid financial budget." Hamburg's last top-flight basketball team, the BCJ Tigers, "went bankrupt in '02" (HAMBURGER ABENDBLATT, 1/16).
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