Cities and sports already vying for next European Championships, say organizers

Cities and sports already vying for next European Championships, say organizers

The 2018 European Championships have just crossed their halfway point but co-founder Paul Bristow told press agency DPA that the multi-discipline event has already been well received.

“There is a tingle down my spine. It is really very satisfying. I am very proud to see the vision become reality,” Bristow said at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, where the athletics programme takes place.

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“All the feedback we have had from the federations has been good, the feedback from the broadcasters has been excellent and the feedback from the written press seems to be positive.

“The response from the general public, which is the ultimate piece in the jigsaw, also seems to be good. They are tuning in and watching in very good numbers.”

Major interest

About 4500 athletes are currently competing across seven sports in Berlin and in Glasgow, where all the non-athletics sports – including swimming, golf rowing and triathlon – are being held.

Bristow, the general manager of the Championships said it was designed as “the antidote to football”, which takes a huge chunk of the sporting market share across Europe.

Major networks such as Britain’s BBC, Germany’s ARD and ZDF and France 2 and 3 have covered the event and Bristow says 130,000 tickets from an overall 160,000 have been sold in Glasgow, and Berlin has already sold a European athletics championships record 270,000 tickets.

He added that he wants the event to stay much smaller than the Olympics in order to find a niche.

A gap in the market

“What we want to do is to keep this sustainable and attractive to be hosted by a good number of European cities. If you look at Glasgow, a medium size city, that’s the kind of city we need to make this accessible. If we had more sports we couldn’t do this,” he said.

While nothing has been officially confirmed, Bristow said several sports and cities are lining up for the next edition. Germany’s Hamburg, which bid for the 2024 Olympics but was stopped by a referendum, is one that has expressed possible interest.

“We have an interest from quite quite a number of cities, also in Germany. We have had in the last two years a dozen cities all across Europe – single city, multi-city and regional interest,” he said.

“We would rather have two cities sharing than one city having to built a lot of new things.”
mp/jcg (DPA)