Handball's biggest weekend begins for thousands of devoted fansArticle
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NEWS: As the VELUX EHF FINAL4 weekend comes round once more, it’s time for the opening party.

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Handball's biggest weekend begins for thousands of devoted fans

On Friday night four thousand fans descended on the LANXESS arena terrace to celebrate the tenth edition of the VELUX EHF FINAL4.

They have one goal: supporting the four best teams of this season’s VELUX EHF Champions League: PGE Vive Kielce, Telekom Veszprém HC, Barça Lassa and HC Vardar. But also the fans are in Cologne to see good handball and just enjoy the biggest event in European club handball.

As Kielce, Vardar and Barça have already lifted the VELUX EHF Champions League trophy before, Veszprém is the only club for whom a win this year would be the first title.

Significant for the incredible fans at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 is the fact that the opening party, taking place for the seventh time, was completely sold out for the first time ever and had the most attendees ever.

Gabor, a Veszprém supporter, came for the second time from Hungary and he admits that he is not only here for handball but also for the opening party.

Sascha from Cologne made the trip to the LANXESS arena just for the party – and mainly because of the band.

“I was told by colleagues that the party is taking place here. I don’t have anything to do with handball but this is a nice atmosphere. We just played the tombola but lost, unfortunately. But we are really looking forward to the band!” he says.

 

 

Responsible for entertaining the fans were - among others – the band Querbeat from Cologne who met everyone’s expectations. Rocking the stage with instruments like trombone, saxophone and others there could not have been a better way to start this event.

For the tenth anniversary there were some special events waiting. Fans could present themselves in a video box, showing why they love being part of the handball family – and with a bit of luck they can see themselves during the ceremony before the final on Sunday at the big screen inside the arena.

Gabor and his friends had just tried the ‘video box’ and for Gabor, this is the best entertainment here - next to the beer of course.

Furthermore, the ‘Ball of Fame’, a giant handball, was unveiled. The ball is a piece of art by an Austrian artist and represents all teams who have won the VELUX EHF Champions League.

But of course the highlight was the presentation of all four teams of this season’s VELUX EHF FINAL4. And after the numerous entertainment acts had warmed up the fans enough, they came on to the stage and were cheered enthusiastically.

Straight afterwards, the hunt for selfies and autographs began in the entrance lobby of the LANXESS arena. With the fireworks at around 10 o’clock the first evening of the handball event ended – and just made the fans and everyone else keen for more.

Sara from Macedonia already thinks about the next few days.

“The matches are the reason we are here. I can barely wait anymore and hope Vardar will win the Champions League again,” she says.


TEXT: Carina Schmidt, Ivana Bockaj/jh
 
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