What will happen to Osthalle after the descent?

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Once feared by opposing teams like ‘Eastern Hell’, the hall is now showing its age. Photo: Schepp © Schepp

The Lord Mayor sticks to the agreements with the Giessen 46s. A feasibility study on enlargement and new construction should create facts.

Pour . The basketball players from the Gießen 46ers, probably the biggest sporting galleon figure in this city for decades, have been relegated from the Bundesliga. An immediate return to the ranks of the top clubs seems unlikely at the moment, given the experience of recent weeks and months as well as the financial situation. Instead, the five-time German champions (late 1978) are threatened with several years in the less attractive second basketball league, ProA, and thus probably fewer spectators for home games in the Osthalle. This again raises the question of the extent to which the city of Giessen still has any interest in renovating and expanding the poorly outdated hall used by the Gießen-Ost Comprehensive School (GGO) for physical education, or even with it to be replaced with a new building . Do the agreements that the basketball players and the city have made still apply? Confronted with this request, Mayor Frank-Tilo Becher (SPD) makes it unmistakably clear: “The descent has not changed anything.”

results up expected summer

How things will continue in the future depends largely on the results of a feasibility study commissioned in December by the coalition of SPD, Greens and Giessen Venstre. This is entitled “Checking the preservation of the basketball league location”, which like the 100,000 euros set aside for the purpose in the 2022 budget, underlines the city’s willingness to continue to engage. The results of the survey “should be available before summer,” Becher says. Discussions would then take place on this basis with 46ers and GMOs, but also with any other users of the multi-hall, which is also suitable for non-sporting events. According to the mayor, the supervisory order for external experts contains a structural analysis of the eastern sports hall, which opened in 1969 and was most recently renovated in 2006, “to clarify whether further expansion to more spectators is possible at all”. So far, the maximum occupancy of Gießen’s “Gut Stubb” – which was feared by opponents in more successful Bundesliga times due to fan volume and the spatial inclusion as “Eastern Hell” among opponents – has been around 3750 seats for basketball matches. The 46s had already last year proposed to “expand it into a clean basketball hall,” the mayor recalls. However, school sports had to give way to this solution, which is why the Bundesliga club at the time combined its proposal with the proposal to build “a new multi-lane hall” for GGO.

The second solution, which is currently being investigated as part of the feasibility study, is the complete new construction of “a pure ball sports hall elsewhere in the city, as a replacement for the Osthalle basketball court,” Becher explains. Without being able to be more specific in terms of size and audience capacity. There are other possible candidates from the sport for such a hall, such as the basketball players from Gießen Pointers, who have now been promoted from the regional league to ProB (third division). Not to forget the basket hunters from Giessen Rackelos, the 46’s farm team, who are also fighting for points in ProB.

The concept, which the Giessen 46s presented in October, to which Frank-Tilo Becher refers here, envisages transforming Østhallen into a large “Basketball Performance and Youth Center”.

Improvements for GMOs and clubs

According to the traditional club’s ideas, a new hall for school and club sports will be created next to it, with a total of four or six courses on two levels. The 46s argued at the time that this would not only significantly improve the situation in school sports at GGO, but could also help alleviate the growing need for gyms in the Giessen clubs in recent years. At the same time, this would remove the existing conflict of use between school and professional sports. As another step, it was proposed to expand the spectator capacity in the east hall to up to 5000 people and add a weight room, physiotherapy, training and administration room.

CEO Sebastian Schmidt had increased pressure on the city in October when he demanded a commitment to the basketball court and urged politicians to “follow words with deeds. Otherwise we have to fear that the basketball lights will sooner or later go out in the east hall and in Gießen ‘. In the light of the Bundesliga relegation, the latter opinion has become even more important.

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