EC2010: AFVD to put European Championships to a new level

Category: European Championship - published 2010-07-22 by EFAF

When the 12th European Championships kick off on July 24 at Frankfurt's Commerzbank Arena multi-year efforts of hosting federation American Football Verband Deutschland culminate in another highlight. It is the third time within 10 years the European Championships are decided in Germany after the final games of 2000 and 2001. In the same decade Germany already hosted the World Games of 2005, where American Football was part of the program for the first time, and the AFVD Deutschland was the host of the 2nd IFAF World Championships in 2003, too. Add the 2009 Cheerleading World Championships at Bremen and this year's inaugural German-Japan Bowl at Düsseldorf's Esprit Arena - the first occasion the Japanese national American Football team was invited to a friendly game to Europe - and you have to admit that the activity level at Germany has reached quite a height in recent years.

When the EC opener, the final game and the game for third place at this year's tournament will be played at the Commerzbank Arena this marks the first time European American Football Championships are held in a venue also used for big-time soccer events like FIFA World Cup or games of one of the more prestigious European leagues. Since 2008 the German federation stages its league championship games there as well annually, continuing its series of German Bowls in the country's largest and most modern stadiums.

The European Championships and EFAF now are benefitting from these past efforts of German federation AFVD. The bid for hosting the tournaments was a joint application by the federation and the stadium management and accompanied by political support from the highest ranks of local city and state authorities. Later on the German federal government added public funding, recognizing the tournament as one of special relevance for sports in Germany. So it was made possible to gather six teams for the final tournament for the first time in EC history.

The local organizing committee, headed by EFAF and AFVD president Robert Huber, has been preparing the event for over a year now. For EC preparations and the other major events the German federation staged in recent time it has added Marshall Happer to its staff. Happer had administrated league and games operations in former NFL Europe for over a decade before joining AFVD. The experteer in logistics will have some more busy days at this time, as teams arrive at Germany and the goal is to provide all of the six team delegations with the best possible practicing and transportation scheduling.

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