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Photo Credit: European Handball Championship

Sports events are an integral part of the meetings industry that provides numerous multiplicative effects in tourism and the economy. Upon hosting renowned sports events, cities invest generously in infrastructure, new buildings and renovating hotels while improving public transportation. Internationally renowned sports events are watched by millions of foreign fans as well as the media, which helps to expose the state brand, sponsors, organizations and athletes.

During COVID-19, sports events have been heavily affected as they predominantly take place without spectators. Organisers in Hungary will, however, welcome fans, given there is no limitation on the number of participants. In Slovakia, only a quarter of the capacity is allowed, which was decided only five days before the start of the European Championships. Regardless of the several challenges and the great responsibility the organisers bear, they are showcasing that by following epidemiological restrictions, events can be organised safely both for spectators and competitors.

24 teams competing for gold

Together with Hungary, Slovakia had bided to host the distinguished competition in 2017, and a year later, they were able to score the most points among three candidates. In the championship held in Bratislava and Košice, 24 teams divided into six groups, will compete for gold. As there are significantly fewer events currently, the championship will combine the know-how of event organising professionals and the help of numerous volunteers.

In Košice, the main venue will be Steel Arena (https://www.steelarena.sk/en), home to the local hockey team. In Bratislava, the matches will take place in the Ondrej Nepela Arena (http://www.arena-bratislava.eu), which serves as a hall for ice sports, and was renovated in 2011. Besides hosting international sports competitions, it is used for concerts of popular music and other events. It can accept up to 10,000 visitors.

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Photo Credit: European Handball Championship

The final weekend of the European Men’s Handball Championship 2022 will take place in the Hungarian capital, where the new hall offers a viewpoint with a capacity for 20,022 spectators. The battle for gold is on the program on Sunday, 30 January, from 6 p.m. The first four teams from the final standings will secure a direct promotion to the World Cup 2023 in Poland and Sweden.

Under the helm of coach Petr Kukučka, the Slovakian team will strive for the very first Slovak victory in the history of the European Championships in their fourth European championship. Will they succeed?

Find out more at https://slovakhandball.sk/.

This article was implemented with the financial support of the Ministry of Transport and Construction of the Slovak Republic.

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