On Thursday afternoon, our CEO Oliver Mintzlaff spoke about RB Leipzig’s plans for the return of fans, and in particular the hygiene measures that will be taken by the club.
Oliver Mintzlaff on...
…RB Leipzig’s plans to keep fans safe:
- “We are happy that our plans have been approved and accepted by the local public health department. We have been in close contact with the state president of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer, who has also given our plans the green light. This means that fans are able to return to the Red Bull Arena under certain conditions - of course, it depends on the number of cases in Leipzig remaining as low as it currently is. In all walks of life, we are desperate to get back to normal. For those of us involved with football, normality means having fans in the stadium. Having our proposal accepted is the first step back to normality.”
…what is special about RBL’s concept:
- “The concept isn’t rocket science. We don’t know something that the other clubs don’t. On the one hand, we have a low infection rate here in Leipzig which is a basic requirement for the return of fans to be possible. We obviously hope that this infection rate remains low as matches get underway. On the other hand, we have used all of our experience from the last few weeks and months, together with the knowledge of outsiders from other industries, to put together a concept which the state president has said is extremely clever. Our plans should ensure that the risk of infection for the fans in the stadium is minimised.”
...the opening Bundesliga matchday:
- “Tickets will be marked with various different admission times - we want to avoid crowds of people gathering at the entrance to the ground. Then there will be a maximum of six people sitting apart in each block. There will be no alcoholic drinks and no food available and spectators must wear a face mask for the entire time that they spend in the stadium. These are the key points of our concept.”
...the reaction of the other Bundesliga clubs at the meeting for DFL member clubs:
- “We didn’t hear the opinions of every single Bundesliga club, but we had already had encouragement from a few clubs ahead of the announcement. We spoke with Aki Watzke of Borussia Dortmund and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge of FC Bayern, and also had support from 1. FC Köln and Werder Bremen. They hoped that we would get the green light to be able to welcome the fans back. Every club in the first and second division wants to get back to normal after the absence of the fans, so there has been praise for our project. The DFL, who we involved in every step of planning, has also supported us.
...the dialogue with other clubs:
- “It was important for us to share information and the meeting of clubs has shown that we are all working together. Christian Seifert made sure that we followed hygiene regulations at the meeting. The clubs are united in sharing ideas for the return of fans, so we have made our plans available to all of the other clubs in the hope that it may also be given the green light elsewhere. Overall, it was a very productive meeting."
- “There was plenty of support for our plans from around the league and no criticism at all. The distortion of competition wasn’t even a topic for discussion with the DFL or with the other Bundesliga clubs. In such a difficult situation, what’s important is that we all get back to normal as soon as possible following the pandemic. That was, and still is, our aim and our approach. We are happy with our progress so far, and we hope that the infection rate in Leipzig remains low enough for us to welcome the fans back for the match against Mainz.”