“A tremendous year for handball”
The EHF EURO closing press conference at Sweden 2016 was a double premiere for the European Handball Federation.
For the first time, it was held on Saturday already instead of on Sunday and for the first time, former EHF Secretary General Michael Wiederer sat on the podium as newly elected EHF President.
Wiederer positively looked back at the European handball year 2016 which will conclude on Sunday with the final between Netherlands and Norway and the match for third place between Denmark and France at the EHF EURO 2016.
“2016 was a tremendous year for handball with a record-breaking Men’s EHF EURO in Poland, the Olympic Games in Rio with full arenas and now those exciting matches and great TV figures at the Women’s EHF EURO in Sweden – and not to forget our flagship club competitions, the VELUX EHF and the Women's EHF Champions League, with its FINAL4 tournaments,” said Wiederer.
65 TV stations broadcast the EHF EURO from Sweden to 135 countries. “During this tournament, we saw tremendous TV numbers, in particular in Scandinavian countries,” said Wiederer.
Fredrik Rapp, chairman of the Swedish Handball Federation, seconded Wiederer in his praise. “We are proud that we delivered an event like this in cooperation with the former EHF President Jean Brihault and the new one Michael Wiederer. Handball again has proven what a great sport it is. This EURO was a huge step forward.”
Predrag Boskovic, the newly elected EHF Vice President, thanked the volunteers in the five venues “for their excellent work” and the Swedish organisers for “two wonderful weeks”, expressing furthermore his satisfaction with the performance of the tournament's referees and delegates.
Frank Ström, the CEO of the Organising Committee for the EHF EURO, summarised that 80,000 of a possible maximum of 110,000 tickets had been sold, meaning that on average every hall in the five venues was about 75 per cent full.
JJ Rowland EHF Head of Media and Communications, closed the press conference by stating a number media figures, with the official website reaching almost half a million people over the past months, an increase of 73 per cent compared to the EHF EURO 2014 in Hungary and Croatia.
The total watch time for the official EHF EURO Youtube channel exceeded 600,000 minutes, equalling one year and 50 minutes.
The official closing press conference was followed by presentations for the upcoming top handball national team events all over Europe. Here are the key facts:
Men’s EHF EURO 2018 in Croatia: (12 to 28 January 2018)
Venues: Zagreb (preliminary round, main round, final weekend), Varazdin (preliminary round and main round), Split (preliminary round), Porec (preliminary round).
Tickets sale via www.ehf-euro.com starts on 1 January 2017
Women’s EHF EURO 2018 in France (30 November to 16 December 2018)
Venues: Paris (final weekend), Nantes (preliminary round and main round), Nancy (preliminary round and main round), Montbéliard (preliminary round), Brest (preliminary round), The championship's motto “Handballissime”. 130,00 tickets will be available.
This is the first EHF EURO to be staged in France following three World Championships (Men's WCh 2001, Women's WCh 2007, Men's WCh 2017).
Women’s World Championship in Germany 2017 (1 to 17 December 2017)
Venues: Hamburg (final weekend), Leipzig (preliminary round, Last 16, quarter-finals), Oldenburg (preliminary round), Bietigheim-Bissingen (preliminary round), Trier (preliminary round), Magdeburg (Last 16, quarter-finals).
The tournament's motto is “Simply wunderbar”.
Ticket sales started in October, with tickets available via www.germanyhandball2017.com. More than 200.000 tickets are available for the entire tournament.