ECKENTAL/STARNBERG, May 12, 2022
The 2022 edition of the Challenger Eckental is hanging by a thread. This was announced by the organizers of the tournament on Wednesday.
The International German Indoor Championships have been part of the ATP Challenger Tour for 25 years. Alongside the Wolffkran Open in Ismaning, also situated in Bavaria, it is one of only two tournaments on the Circuit to be held on carpet.
When the tranquil House of Sports in Eckental was built in 1997, it became the scene of an international tennis tournament for the first time thanks to an exception from the ATP and probably only the venturous optimist believed in the following success story. Markus Giegold was one of them. Together with a large team of volunteers, the initiator and longtime tournament director managed to establish a traditional event that has delighted the regional and international sports family for over a quarter of a century.
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However, the 26th edition is still missing a title sponsor and a deficit of €50,000 was communicated. The much-quoted “Miracle of Eckental” will probably no longer be enough due to higher requirements, rising costs in all areas and a lack of planning security due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
According to organizers Marcus Slany and Fabian Reisch, many co- and pool sponsors as well as most members of the support group have given positive signals so far. The Bavarian Tennis Federation (BTV) and the German Tennis Federation (DTB) have also already secured their financial support. But without a title sponsor the current planning figures show a tremendous deficit.
“Our partners and sponsors, our team of over 300 volunteers and the entire region are 100 per cent behind our tournament,” emphasizes Slany. Yet, in order to “make the impossible possible” more is needed this year: a financially strong main sponsor. Time is pressing.