Marco Baldi is a bit out of the ordinary. At the moment you can read about managers in top-class sport almost exclusively about their complaints, worries and warnings about bankruptcies or even the death of entire sports. Something like that can only be heard from Baldi hidden in subordinate clauses. The managing director of the German basketball champions Alba Berlin has also drawn up hygiene concepts and applied for special permits. Much of this is currently ignored in political decision-making processes. But Baldi endures it quietly. No open letter, no lobbying in back rooms. Instead: “full understanding”. And: “Everyone can and must fight to keep their shop running, but we have to keep an eye on that the really big shop continues to run. In the end we all depend on it. “
The last decisions came from the Federal Chancellery on Wednesday evening and the next day from the Berlin Senate. For a month, Alba plays its home games in the arena at Ostbahnhof in front of empty stands. Another month has now been decided. There is a concept for the admission of 7000 people. The other indoor sports clubs in Germany have developed something similar, but nobody is allowed to implement the concepts. This creates costs, but income from ticketing and catering is lost. “You can be upset about a lot or feel neglected,” says Baldi, who on Thursday evening should have missed the cheers of the fans when his basketball players won 100:80 in the Euroleague against the star ensemble from Khimki Moscow. “But when you close the catering trade and limit private visits, I can understand that you are a bit more crude in sports too. The time will come when there will be a more differentiated approach. Now we need an attitude that takes the whole situation seriously. That is the order of the day. “
Eugen Benzel found it more difficult to be reluctant. The manager of SC Potsdam sat on the hygiene concept for the arena at the airship port for more than three months. It was used for a while before the lockdown: “People did a great job.” But the 833 spectators possible at the time are no longer allowed to come. “It’s very frustrating,” says Benzel.
He estimated the loss of income at up to 9,000 euros in his volleyball players’ European cup match against Hapoel Kfar Saba on Wednesday evening. A lot of money for a club like SC Potsdam. Particularly annoying: no sports event with a hygiene concept has yet been identified as a hotspot. This also applies to amateur sports. Studies confirmed that the dangers are low. But so far they have not had any influence on the politics of the federal government.
Andre Hahn is annoyed. “We finally need a sports summit,” demanded the sports policy spokesman for the left-wing parliamentary group in the Bundestag. “The Chancellor meets with the auto lobby – she obviously doesn’t find the time for organized sport with 27 million members.” Hahn finds the almost complete ban on recreational sport in particular “completely inappropriate”, especially since the clubs have “developed good hygiene concepts”.
Alba Berlin and SC Potsdam also do much more than professional sport. The capital city club carries out youth work in educational institutions through the “Alba macht Schule” program. “We have almost 120 trainers,” reports Marco Baldi. “But this is handled differently at every daycare center and school. Some do the sport normally, some only outside, others cancel it. So we organize the breaks so that the children can keep doing sports and our coaches at work. “
The SC Potsdam operates youth clubs, fitness centers for women, a swimming school and rehabilitation sports, among other things. Almost 20 hygiene concepts have been developed, but a lot is currently closed. After all, the club was financially supported by the municipality and the state, so that at least the European Cup could take place. Marco Baldi also says: “Without state aid it would be dark. And you won’t be able to keep it going for long without further help. «How long, exactly, nobody knows.