Corona Hamburg: These clubs have lost the most members


“Threatening”: Dramatic decline in membership in Hamburg clubs

Hamburg’s sports clubs have lost many members in the corona pandemic.

Photo: Roberto Pfeil / picture alliance / dpa

Clubs and gyms are suffering from a corona decline. However, there is even an increase in some sports.

Hamburg. that corona pandemic has made a wide cut in the last two years Membership of Hamburg’s sports clubs, that fitness centre and health facilities beaten. Clubs and commercial providers in the city counted about 957,000 memberships in December 2019, 24 months and two lockdowns later it was still around 794,000; a historic decline of 163,000 memberships or 17 per cent.

Because athletes can be members of multiple institutions, the associations talk about memberships. At the beginning of this year, they were distributed among the 790 clubs in the Hamburger Sportbund (HSB / around 498,000), the 303 fitness studios and health facilities (estimated at 266,000) and the Sportglück eV association (estimated at 30,000), which at the end of 2016 consisted of HSB and the German Olympic Sports Federation (DOSB) resigned.

The commercial fitness centers and health facilities were and are hardest hit. Since December 2019 in Hamburg, they have lost about 25 percent of their once 354,000 members, about 88,500 (source: DSSV eV). During the pandemic, the membership of Sports Fun was halved from 61,000 to 30,000. However, there are no official figures here. With an average monthly membership fee of 30 euros, the clubs and studios lost at least 60 million euros in revenue last year alone.

Falling athletes are not surprising

The dramatic decline in organized athletes is not surprising. For the past two years, the city has banned physical exercise and training for 284 days in halls, gymnasiums and generally in all indoor facilities. The first lockdown in 2020 lasted from March 16 to May 26, the second from November 2, 2020 to June 2, 2021. The loss of members in the areas of health sports, fitness and swimming is similarly large; but basketball, martial arts, and dance also suffered from the state-imposed restrictions. In outdoor team sports, on the other hand, almost no exits were reported.

HSB has now presented detailed figures which they wish to present and explain this Thursday in the Sports Committee for Citizenship. Pr. As of December 31, 2021, the sports association reported 497,900 memberships in 790 clubs, of which 327,821 (65.8 percent) were men and 170,079 (34.2 percent) women. Before the start of the pandemic, HSB reported 542,406 in December 2019. Adjusted for the voluntary departure from university sports Hamburg (10,290 members) in 2020, the 865 member organizations of HSB have lost 34,216 memberships (6.5 percent) in the past two years. For the first time since 2006, HSB has registered fewer than half a million athletes. In 2016, when sports fun still belonged to the sports association with 71,000 members, there were almost 580,000.

Biggest losses in clubs with over 3000 members

Clubs with more than 3,000 members recorded the largest losses of minus 7.5 percent in the past two years. However, it was not the two largest sports clubs in Hamburg, HSV eV (85,273 / minus 2891 compared to December 2019) and FC St. Pauli (31,681 / plus 1690), who lost the percentage of most of their club members, but the clubs with between 3,000 and 15,000 members. The number of female members leaving last year was disproportionately low at minus 11,608 (6.4 percent).

There are two probable reasons for this: the often difficult compatibility of homework, childcare and sports, and secondly the fact that far more women than men are active in fitness. Because halls and studios were closed for several months, many offers were canceled. Following the reopening, the containment rules massively limited the number of participants in courses.

Membership growth in tennis, volleyball and sailing

“Even in the second year of the corona pandemic, we are seeing a decline in membership in organized Hamburg sport. Given the sports lockdown that lasted several months, the losses across all member organizations are moderate, but for the individual clubs and associations are there are drastic declines that seem very threatening, “says Daniel Knoblich, HSB’s new CEO.

Altona Gymnastikforening of 1845 with 3,639 fewer members (2019: 8,056 / minus -45.2 percent), HSV eV (minus 3.28 percent) and TSG Bergedorf (minus 2,471 / minus 22.3 percent) complained in absolute numbers about the largest blood withdrawals. . Among the industry associations, the fitness provider Foreningen for Gymnastik og Fritid (VTF) lost the most active with 21,837 or 20 per cent. However, there were also winners in the crisis: the Hamburg Tennis Federation grew by 1,602 members (plus 5.4 percent), the Volleyball Association by 464 (plus 8.2 percent), the Sailors’ Association by 259 membership numbers (plus 2.23 percent).

The city prevented insolvency with financial support

The fact that so far there has been no insolvency among the clubs is also due to the city’s help. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Senate has supported the sport with additional funding of around € 30 million, including direct and non-repayable grants from Emergency Funds I and II, the Congestion Regulation and for hygiene and protection measures. In addition, there are the Active City start certificates issued in August 2021 by the city, HSB and the Association for Gymnastics and Leisure, which provide grants for enrollment in a club with 80 euros. Of this, 12,462 have been redeemed so far – that corresponds to almost 997,000 euros. Up to 20,000 are available on the Active City website.

But the city’s biggest backing, HSB and gyms agree, would be if all restrictions were lifted. After all, clubs and associations have now invested millions of euros in hygiene measures and air filters. But there is hope: Lately, membership has risen slightly again.

you. February 14, 2022, at 16.25

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