Ist Frankfurt with the first guest appearance National Football League (NFL) scored a touchdown? Or is the egg-shaped ball just outside the end zone after the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Miami Dolphins? Or was it just a field goal? that has been achieved in the days since the NFL spaceship landed in Frankfurt last week? In any case, the offensive with which Frankfurt threw its hat into the ring a good year and a half ago, mainly under pressure from the then head of the sports department and now mayor Mike Josef (SPD), in competition with competitors such as Munich and Düsseldorf, was a success.
Only a study will provide reliable results, which the Tourism and Congress Society Frankfurt (TCF) is expected to produce in the next few weeks. But it already seems certain that the city’s investments will have been worth it. A similar study in Munich last year showed an economic impact of 70 million euros after the first and only NFL guest game there.
Can sport benefit in Frankfurt?
Frankfurt had initially budgeted 1.5 million in expenses in the city’s budget for services related to security or the free provision of public space, for example for the NFL experience at Roßmarkt; the costs are ultimately likely to be higher, also due to the expansion to two games. Frankfurt has received a worldwide perception, caused by the speculation about superstardom Taylor Swift reached a dimension that is immense in value, but at the same time cannot really be measured.
Despite the success, the few warnings, for example from the Frankfurt sports district or the opposition party Die Linke in the city council, must also be taken seriously, who pointed to financial hardships, for example in local club sports, and criticized the spending on the NFL spectacle. The city also justified its commitment by saying that sport would benefit in Frankfurt.
Proof that despite all the enthusiasm surrounding the rare guest appearance in this country, these are still very delicate plants American Football or its less physical and therefore school-friendly variant, flag football, can make a contribution to this, has not yet been achieved. However, the original American sport offers opportunities to integrate children with a wide range of physical requirements into games, from strategically skilled ball throwers to sprinting ball catchers to physically more robust young people.
It is uncertain whether American football can now establish itself even more successfully in Frankfurt, Germany’s most football-loving city, than it did more than two decades ago, when NFL Europe failed after initial success. The German sports culture area currently seems to be open to the new attempt. This is proven not only by the days in Frankfurt, but also by the TV ratings for NFL broadcasts.
The post first appeared on www.faz.net