EHF awards ticketing contract to CTS Eventim, 14 countries keen to host EHF Euros

Croatia celebrate before their fans at the end of a Men's EHF Euro 2020 group match (by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)

The European Handball Federation (EHF) has appointed German ticketing and live entertainment giant CTS Eventim as its official ticketing partner for the 2022 and 2024 editions of its men’s and women’s European Championship, after opting to centralise ticketing for its flagship events.

CTS Eventim will serve as the official ticketing partner for Euro 2022 and 2024 after winning the contract following a Europe-wide tendering process.

The deal is aimed at achieving capacity crowds and providing the technical means for the EHF and the respective local organising committees to achieve the budgeted financial ticketing result for each event. The agreement also includes the development of an international customer database for the EHF.

Martin Hausleitner, EHF secretary general, said: “This is an investment into the future of our flagship national team event and a milestone in our overall digital strategy for the next decade. Through this partnership we are expecting an internationalisation of ticket sales while offering the highest-possible quality and service standards for all handball fans.”

The EHF in January awarded hosting rights for the 2024 edition of its Women’s EHF Euro event to Hungary, Switzerland and Austria. The three countries were selected ahead of a proposal from Russia and a joint bid from the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. The tournament, which will mark the first edition of the event to feature 24 teams, will take place from November 28 to December 15, 2024.

In June 2018, the EHF awarded hosting rights for the 2022 and 2024 editions of its men’s European Championship, as well as the women’s tournament in 2022. Hungary and Slovakia will host the men’s event in 2022. Both countries have experience of hosting major handball events in the past, such as the International Handball Federation’s (IHF) Youth and Junior World Championships.

Hungary co-hosted the women’s EHF Euro in 2014 alongside Croatia. Neither Hungary nor Slovakia has hosted a senior men’s EHF Euro or IHF World Championship in the past. Germany was awarded hosting rights for the men’s EHF Euro in 2024. It will mark the first time the country has hosted the tournament, although it did stage the 2007 men’s World Championship and the women’s World Championship in 2017.

The EHF also confirmed that the women’s European Championship in 2022 will be co-hosted by Slovenia, North Macedonia and Montenegro. The three nations will stage the event in November 2022.

Alexander Ruoff, chief operating officer of CTS Eventim, said: “We very much appreciate EHF’s landmark decision to take ticketing into their own hands. We are pleased to provide EHF and the LOCs not only with our established and acknowledged strengths in technology and marketing, but also with the unique combination of our expertise in international sporting majors and our in-depth knowledge of local markets.

“The EHF can count, of course, on the reliability of CTS Eventim in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. We look very much forward to this partnership and to taking EHF’s ticketing to the next level.”

Letters of intent for 2026 and 2028 EHF Euros

Meanwhile, the EHF announced today (Monday) that 14 national federations have expressed an interest in hosting the men’s or women’s European Handball Championship in 2026 or 2028.

Letters of intent have been sent with regards to solo or joint bids.

Belarus, Lithuania and Poland have joined forces to express their interest in staging the men’s EHF Euro in 2026, with Norway and Denmark also teaming up.

Individual expressions of interest have been received from Croatia, France, Switzerland and Sweden. The same four countries have also expressed an interest in the men’s 2028 event, as have Belgium, Estonia and Norway/Denmark, alongside joint interest from Portugal and Spain.

Norway and Denmark have also aligned their interests to put their names forward as potential co-hosts of the women’s EHF Euro in 2026 or 2028. Nordic neighbour Sweden has also submitted a letter of intent for both championships, with Russia targeting the 2026 tournament.

EHF president Michael Wiederer said: “This is the highest amount of interest we have received from federations showing an intent to host our flagship national team tournaments. These numbers once again prove that this event remains the most highly sought-after national team event in our sport and shows that the develop of handball continues to grow.”

Interested national federations have until May 1 next year to provide their bid dossiers to the EHF, before a decision on the award of the hosting rights is taken at the EHF Congress in November 2021.