‘Arenas Are Safe Spaces’: Pro Event Plan Of Action To Save Events Industry In GSA
PRO EVENT/Paul Zimmer – Pro Event launch at LAXESS arena Cologne
One of many initiatives launched across the world in order to pressure politics into helping the events industry more effectively.
LANXESS arena in Cologne, Germany, hosted a press event launching a new initiative called Pro Event aimed at salvaging the live events industries of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Oct. 23.
The event saw the introduction of a three-step plan of action. Step one is aimed at halting the economic free-fall of the events sector, which is ongoing in all three countries.
Step two is dubbed “stabilization,” step three is dedicated to the “incremental build-up” of the business.
Edwin Weindorfer, promoter of the ATP tennis tournament bett1HULKS Championship, is the initiator of Pro Event.
He said during the press conference, to free the events industry from the “state of shock” it currently found itself in, sports, culture, politics and society needed to come up with a joint approach for holding events with a economically viable audience – while adhering to the required hygiene and safety concepts.
Pro Event aims to discuss “concrete ways and measures” with policy makers that will ensure the short-term financial survival and medium-term ability to recover for “as many participants in the events industry of GSA as possible.”
LANXESS arena CEO Stefan Löcher reminded everyone present that his arena lost 97% of last year’s revenues. He explained how adhering to the hygiene-related directives from government was pointless, as politicians were changing the rules, for instance regarding capacities, practically on a daily basis.
It led to a feeling of helplessness amongst event professionals, in particular as they saw themselves as part of the solution, not the problem, Löcher explained.
He said his team supported Pro Event, as it was essential for the business to make its voice heard in politics.
Bett1 founder and CEO Adam Szpyt, co-initiator of Pro Event, said “people need emotions. There’s a right to emotions. And we have to produce them here.”
Szpyt said older people, in particular, shouldn’t remain trapped in isolation. “We need to get them out of [isolation] and into our stadiums. Let’s utilize these safe spaces in the pandemic,” he said.
Barbara Rittner, head coach of Germany’s national gymnastics association DTB, and part of the Pro Event task force, agreed, explaining how she had recently taken her 80-year old mother to one of distanced events at LANXESS arena.
“She’s absolutely safe here. Much more safe than on the tram or in the supermarket,” she said during the press conference, explaining how the building’s ventilation system meant, that the air inside the hall was completely exchanged every hour.
Several big names in German sports joined the presser via video message.