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Lanxess arena retains rights to handball showpiece

Cologne’s Lanxess arena will remain home to what is claimed to be Europe’s biggest and most successful indoor sports event after extending its deal with the European Handball Federation to host the EHF Final4.

The new deal signed by the EHF and EHF Marketing, organiser of the Final4, with the City of Cologne, Lanxess arena and federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, entails that the finale of the Champions League club competition will return to the German city for a further four events, starting in the 2020-21 season.

Launched in Cologne in 2010, the Final4’s current contract at Lanxess arena was due to run through to the 2020 event. The event will now stay at the arena through to 2024.

Michael Wiederer, EHF president, said: “This sports city offers the perfect conditions for the organisation of the Final4: a central location in the North Rhine-Westphalia region, where handball is hugely popular, and a venue – the Lanxess Arena – which ranks as one of, it not the, best handball arenas in Europe.

“The renewal of the contract with the City of Cologne, Lanxess Arena and also the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia was a natural choice and we look forward to celebrating not only 10 years of the EHF Final4 in 2019 but also the 15-year anniversary in 2024.”

Stefan Löcher, managing director of the Lanxess arena, added: “In 2010, we gave the format a platform for the first time and from that first day the Final4 has fitted perfectly to Cologne and the Lanxess arena. Since then handball fans from across Europe have visited us every year to celebrate the largest weekend-long handball party of the year.

“The fact that this success story will continue to be written by the EHF, City of Cologne and North Rhine-Westphalia as well as the Lanxess arena until at least 2024, is a great honour for the handball-city of Cologne.”

Image: EHF