Is the bankruptcy coming?

The Corona pandemic brings World Cup organizers more and more into economic trouble

Klingenthal made the beginning. Whether it is the beginning of the end is still written in the stars. While the public has been allowed to attend the World Cups in Finland and Sweden, Norway and Poland and overseas, the organizers of the Ski Jumping World Cup in Vogtland have announced that spectators will unfortunately have to stay outside.

Just like the Saxons, the World Cup organizers at the biathlon in Oberhof, the cross-country skiing in Dresden and now Oberstdorf and Garmisch-Partenkirchen have had and continue to have the same problem. And one must fear that also the Ruhpoldinger must unload with a heavy heart their guests again.

As a result, the clubs are in dire financial straits. For the second time in a row, spectator revenues are missing and the clubs are in the red. At this point, one can illustrate what kind of income the hosts of the World Cup circus miss out on when the public can't be there.

There are the quite ordinary spectator revenues. The cheapest one-way ticket in Ruhpolding costs 23€, for a permanent seat on the grandstand at the shooting range almost 400 € are due. Spectators, who do not buy then still the clearly more expensive V.I.P. tickets, want to eat usually nevertheless a Bratwurst or a Leberkäse, drink the one or other beautiful-spiritual or at least warming beverage, use a parking lot and genuine fans do not enter and/or leave the Chiemgau arena without appropriate Devotionalien, from the scarf up to the cup is there much possible.

The very special V.I.P. area has already been mentioned. It is often the case here that the hosts make interested parties a so-called "hospitality offer", which is a mixture of tickets in the top category including catering and other entertainment. In recent years, these offers in particular have established themselves as a successful model for all parties involved. In addition, there is traditional advertising, at least for the areas outside the so-called TV area, i.e. those sectors that are not covered by the TV picture. And, of course, there are the indirect opportunities for cooperation. The advertising industry at the World Cup venue or in the region naturally do not advertise if potential customers are not even present, and agreements with bus companies, cab companies, hotels, the catering trade or other partners are of course preferably concluded with particular pleasure if the other side can bring itself to sponsoring in return. This does not always have to happen directly or in euros and cents. But - again just an example - if a Thuringian bus operator is the first point of contact at the World Cup in Oberhof and in return provides a few minibuses free of charge for the young talent of the clubs in the region, all sides have not made a mistake. And the fact that those indirectly involved also profit from major events certainly does not need to be mentioned separately at this point. Whether gas station or pub, supermarket or pharmacy - something always works.

All that is now falling away, yet again. And the current situation leaves those responsible in Saxony, Thuringia and Bavaria with major worry lines on their foreheads. Because while revenues are collapsing, expenses are falling only marginally, quite apart from the fact that certain agreements with partners have already been concluded and can no longer be canceled, on the other hand the reversal of ticket sales already made is costing yet more.

And the solution? There is no such thing! Yes - there were insurances for defaults, yes - municipalities, counties, states and the federal government stepped into the breach, sponsors paid anyway and turned into patrons. But what remained and will remain in the winter of 2021/22 is the dreary fact that - no matter where - you will still make a loss or, in the very best case, you will not make a profit. But these are often priced into budgets, are an essential reason to apply for World Cups in the first place, to take on the hassle of organizing them. In many cases, the proceeds were used to pay for the rest of the competition year, to invest in infrastructure and the promotion of young talent, and to secure lower-class competitions. All this is now missing. And it calls the entire system - which has proven itself so far - into question. Answers to this existential challenge for the clubs and the sport must therefore be found, otherwise - to stay with the metaphor - it cannot be ruled out that where the ski eagles have been sailing up to now, the bankrupt vulture will soon be circling.


Pictures: K. Voigt Fotografie

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