Munich City Council Approves Millions for MTTC Iphitos Tennis Facility Expansion: Precedent Set?

This week, the Munich city council approved by a large majority to support the expansion of the MTTC Iphitos tennis facility with a total of 8.6 million euros – and in doing so may have set a precedent. The funding granted primarily benefits the men’s professional tournament that is held annually in Schwabing-Freimann in the spring, which is why city councilor Thomas Lechner (The Left/The Party) announced during the debate in the general assembly that the decision might be subject to legal review .

The reason for the subsidy is the intended upgrading of the so-called “Bavarian Open” from a tournament in the 250 category to the 500 category. As is well known, the global professional organization ATP classifies its events according to the number of world ranking points up for grabs: the more points are awarded, the better players can be expected. As a 500 tournament, the event, which is organized by a business company founded specifically for this purpose by the non-profit organization, would be much more attractive. However, the expansion of the center court is necessary for the promotion already announced by the ATP; The audience capacity is to be increased from the current 4,000 to around 7,000 to 7,500.

This will be done with mobile stands that can be dismantled after the nine-day tournament in April or May. In addition to some other construction work, changing rooms and sanitary facilities are to be expanded, which would also benefit popular sports in the remaining 50 weeks of the year. The city’s participation was now constructed via this bridge, which bears 30 percent of the estimated total costs of 28.7 million euros. The Free State should take over half and the club should take over the rest.

The promotion of professional sports is not one of the municipal tasks; In the draft resolution of the participating departments for labor and economics as well as education and sport it was also expressly pointed out that the proposed approach would, for the first time, support a sports facility primarily used for professional sports in accordance with the sports funding guidelines and (…) deviate from the sports funding guidelines. For There is therefore a risk of future comparable projects setting a precedent.

“Great news for all tennis fans”

Most city council members had obviously overlooked this passage. Only the Green Party’s sports spokesperson, Beppo Brem, had expressed any discomfort at all that the 19-page proposal had been sent out at such short notice. But he and his group also ultimately agreed to the plan because it “gives further impetus to a sport that is not football.” FDP city councilor Gabriele Neff had pointed out: “If we don’t expand now, we won’t be able to have the 250-player tournament in the future.” In this respect, all the major parties were pleased about the positive vote. “Great news for all tennis fans,” said SPD sports spokesperson Kathrin Abele. Her CSU colleague Ulrike Grimm highlighted the hoped-for effects on tourism.

Only left-wing representative Lechner was surprised: “Where does the 8.6 million euros come from if we as a city constantly say we have no money?” Well, 1.25 million are to be taken from the sports department’s budget, which is intended for construction work in popular sports that is necessary in the short term. The remaining almost 7.4 million euros will be reallocated from the construction department to the economics department and from there forwarded to the MTTC Iphitos. For the Left faction, this means that this money ultimately comes “from housing subsidies” “that are intended for social housing construction”.

Since the city likes to rely on private investor models in other cases and the MTTC Iphitos has good contacts in the real estate industry through its board members, Lechner suggested: “The association’s GmbH should attract investors.”

2024-05-16 12:13:33
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