With a lot of fanfare, FC St. Pauli and the city of Hamburg presented the plans for a mega training ground on Kollaustraße in early February with Interior and Sports Senator Andy Grote (member of St. Pauli). By the end of 2026, there should be a total of seven sports fields there – necessary to meet the DFL’s requirements for youth academies.
The messed up are the small clubs Hamburg Stealers, ETV Knights, TSV Stellingen, SV West-Eimsbüttel and HFC Falke. In order to create space for St. Pauli, they would have to be distributed to new areas within the city by means of a ring exchange. Only: The clubs concerned – like the district policy – were not included in the planning and overwhelmed by it. And you don’t think the plans presented are optimal.
Above all, the baseball players of the Stealers and Knights, whose previous site is to be completely flattened, are angry. As early as February, Deputy Bastian Düsing said: “We were totally surprised by the plans. That came out of nowhere. Changing location is difficult. If we don’t get suitable alternative areas, it will threaten our very existence.”
Now the five clubs have written a joint protest letter. There it says: “The clubs affected by the exchange of rings expect real participation in the planning, not token communication. The interests of the clubs and other sports besides football must be taken into account just as much as those of professional football. The so-called ring exchange must be used to achieve infrastructural improvements not only for FC St. Pauli, but also for the amateur clubs and for baseball. With these positions, the clubs go into further talks.”
And: “The announced participation process for all clubs concerned is not yet recognizable. The clubs concerned are not concerned with preventing the expansion of the training and performance center of the professional club FC St. Pauli. However, the lack of participation and the disregard for the interests of amateur athletes prompts us to formulate this joint statement.”
In detail, the clubs say:
Hamburg Stealers: “It is precisely the lack of any information (reports, plans, cost estimates, financing, etc.) that casts doubt on a realistic feasibility. A fair assessment (regardless of the costs) of the structural deterioration of club life cannot be made by “copy & paste” the current facility at a new location. A clear commitment is required for the expansion of the area for the construction of two playing fields, an indoor hall and all the facilities available at the current location. The implementation of a relocatable, license-compliant 750/500 lux floodlight system for the 2023 season (risk of license revocation) would be a real sign that the city takes baseball seriously.”
HFC Falke: “The proposed ‘solution’ at Brummerskamp does not meet our requirements for rooms for our members’ social meetings, an expansion for at least 300 spectators and good local transport connections. These requirements are essential in order to be able to offer our club life to as many falcons as possible. This is essential for our survival. Therefore, we see the possibility of further development of our club, due to the current plans, more than endangered, both in terms of time and implementation!
TSV Stellingen / West- Eimsbüttel: “It was promised that we would not be worse off as a result of the move and that at least 3 football pitches would be built, one of which would have reduced athletics facilities. A beach volleyball facility and other sports facilities that could be set up on Vogt-Kölln-Strasse were also discussed prior to the relocation. The current situation with only 2 artificial turf pitches leaves no leeway for the further development of the clubs TSV Stellingen and SV West-Eimsbüttel.”
ETV Knights: “We therefore hope that the current situation will be used as an opportunity to create a competitive performance center for baseball in Hamburg, where both clubs can work and train at the same time, and where our sport can be presented and marketed in an attractive way.”
FC St. Pauli, as the beneficiary of the official plans, has not yet expressed any dissatisfaction with the small clubs.