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Hungary to develop Europe’s biggest handball arena

Hungarian Handball Federation (MKSZ) president Máté Kocsis has said the government has approved plans to develop Europe’s largest handball arena in Budapest.

Kocsis disclosed plans for a 20,000-seat facility in the Hungarian capital at an MKSZ meeting which discussed preparations for the country’s co-hosting of the European Handball Federation’s (EHF’s) 2022 men’s European Championship.

Hungary will co-host the event with Slovakia, and Kocsis stated that infrastructure development would be needed in all four host cities. Concerning the capital city’s role in the Championship, Kocsis said, according to Hungarian newspaper Nemzeti Sport: “The government has accepted our proposal to build an (arena) in Budapest, a mega-arena for the European Championship, which will be the biggest handball stadium in Europe.”

Kocsis said the Főnix Hal in Debrecen would also need to be redeveloped. He added: “The arena of Szeged needs to be built in full, working closely with the club, but meeting the EHF’s expectations. A complete, 8,000-capacity arena must be built in Szeged.

“The Veszprém Aréna (pictured) needs to be rebuilt and its capacity expanded. It’s a huge job with tight deadlines.”

The EHF awarded hosting rights for the event in June. Both Hungary and Slovakia have experience of hosting major handball events in the past, such as the International Handball Federation’s (IHF) Youth and Junior World Championships.

Hungary co-hosted the women’s EHF Euro in 2014 alongside Croatia. However, neither Hungary nor Slovakia has hosted a senior men’s EHF Euro or IHF World Championship.

Image: Vajda Bertalan