heinnews’s David Hein went to Bayern Munich – Würzburg ProA German basketball game on Feb. 20 and beforehand got a quick chance to chat with club president Uli Hoeness. They talked about the record crowd of 12,000 fans at the Munich Olympia Hall; how good the media attention is for the Bayern Munich brand; the talks about the Rudi Sedlmayer Halle for next season; and the latest about coach Dirk Bauermann and the dispute if he will remain at Bayern next season and/or coach the German national team.
heinnews: President Hoeness, there will be 12,200 fans coming to this game. You look very excited shortly before tip-off. Talk a bit about your thoughts on this game.
Hoeness. We are surprised. We said we wanted to fill this arena as much as possible. At first we made space for 8,000 seats, then 10,000, then 11,000 and now with 12,200 everything is full which can be full. And this is the evidence that basketball is accepted here.
heinnews: What does it say about basketball in Germany in general and in Munich in particular?
Hoeness: I cannot say that. We really only began half a year ago promoting basketball. Before that we asked our members if they see it positively and that was the case – 73 percent of the fans were for it. And I hope that it will remain that way. We are only doing this with the fans and for the fans.
heinnews: With all the media attention about this game and Bayern Munich’s push in basketball, how good is it for the brand of Bayern Munich?
Hoeness: Yeah, as long as it keeps going like it is, then it’s fantastic for the brand because basketball apparently is a very popular sport among the people in this country. It’s the spectators who decide to come out or turn on the television. If that’s the case – as it appears to be the case here – then we can say that the people like it.
heinnews: You have been a basketball fan for a long time. What do you think about Bayern Munich being in a European division of the NBA?
Hoeness: That is much too early for me. We want to take one step after another. We first want to get promotion, then we want to get a gym, then I will look for sponsors, then we will look for a team.
heinnews: What is the latest with the Rudi Sedlmayer Halle?
Hoeness: We are having good talks with the city about the Rudi Sedlmayer Halle, which we would have to renovate a bit. And I hope very much so that it works out.
heinnews: And what is the latest about Bauermann and talks between Bayern, the BBL and the DBB?
Hoeness: We have already had the first talks and we are very confident that we will find a solution.
heinnnews: What would a solution look like for you?
Hoeness: I will let you know when we decide.