World War II bombs threaten Bundesliga club BG Göttingen
Göttingen is finally allowed to play home games in its arena again. The hall was closed for months because of duds that had been found on the site. After the blast, now the return. Nevertheless, the bombs caused financial damage to the BBl club.
Zu Home is just the most beautiful place. After three months in exile, the BG Göttingen could finally play in their own hall again. And the comeback in the S-Arena turned into a big spectacle – Roel Moors’ team offered the fans a true thriller, only losing 101:108 against Ulm after extra time. “Coming back was exciting and beautiful. The organization was a bit more of a challenge, because after the long break we first had to gather everything together again. Of course, it would have been even nicer if we had also won,” says Göttingen’s Managing Director Frank Meinertshagen.
The homeless months ended last Saturday for the club with a huge detonation that could be heard all over Göttingen. In January, two American bombs from World War II were discovered right next to the arena. The city cordoned off a large area of the site – the danger posed by the two duds and a partially detonated bomb was too great.
After long planning, ordnance clearers blew up the three bombs. 8,500 people had to leave their homes, 600 police officers were on duty and monitored the wide exclusion zone. Containers set up especially mitigated the force of the detonation and protected the arena. “On the day after the controlled bombings, no static damage was found on the S-Arena. The sports hall at Schützenplatz suffered only minimal damage to the ceiling in the lobby and to one spot on the facade. Both bombs were in close proximity to the S-Arena,” the city said.
Moving and remodeling cost a lot of money
Nevertheless, the bombs left the club with serious damage. Göttingen is missing important income due to the closure of its arena and the move to the Lokhalle. “The additional income from the games in the Lokhalle does not by far cover the additional costs. These are caused by the move, the transport, the time-consuming assembly and dismantling of the grandstands and the parquet, since unevenness in the floor has to be compensated for. In addition, different technology is required in the locomotive hall, which is more expensive, and we had to have additional advertising space produced. We can put a figure on the additional costs, but we don’t publish these figures,” says Meinertshagen.
But the city did not leave the club alone and promised help. “The BG Göttingen is an important and prominent figurehead for our city. Last but not least, the disposal of explosive ordnance has led to the current situation with the ‘Violet’. It goes without saying that we are working hand-in-hand with others to provide one-time help to ensure BG Göttingen stays in the league,” said Mayor Petra Broistedt. The city and the Goettingen sports and leisure company GöSF want to increase their sponsorship and make a one-time payment – this should bring together 250,000 euros for the club.
There are said to be other duds on the site
The money saves Göttingen’s license for the coming season and provides security for the hot phase of the current season. “We are pleased that the city has signaled its support from the start due to the multiple blocking of the Sparkassen-Arena for several months and has also kept to this agreement. Without this support, it would have been much more difficult for us,” says Meinertshagen.
Due to the closure of the arena, a tough mammoth program awaits the BG in the coming weeks. In just 30 days, Göttingen has to play ten games, seven of them at home. But Göttingen still has no peace. There are said to be more duds in the ground on the site. Meinertshagen: “We’re calm at the moment. However, there are numerous other suspicious points around the Sparkassen-Arena.”