The Olympiahalle (Olympic Hall) in Munich will transform into a handball stronghold during the European Handball Championships 2024 from January 11 to 16 and serve as the venue for a series of top matches. Here, you can find out more about the competitors in Munich, where to purchase tickets and why former handball pro Dominik Klein is particularly looking forward to this European Championship.
The European Men's Handball Championship, the EHF EURO 2024, will be held in Germany for the first time from January 10 to 28, 2024. The whole of Munich is already eagerly anticipating an up-close encounter with the handball stars in the Olympiahalle, as the state capital is one of the three preliminary round venues.
The iconic hall, which witnessed the handball finals of the 1972 Summer Olympics, will host twelve matches among premier European teams in Groups C and F from January 11 to 16, 2024. In 2024, Munich will welcome Denmark, the reigning world champions, alongside the favoured team from Iceland, as well as Portugal, Greece, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Hungary, and Montenegro.
Tickets for the European Handball Championship 2024 matches in Munich can be purchased in advance, either for individual match days or as a package for all matches within a particular group.
On each of the six days from January 11 to 16, the Olympiahalle will stage two matches of each group, kicking off at 6 pm and 8.30 pm.
January 11, Group F:
6 pm: Portugal – Greece
8.30 pm: Denmark – Czech Republic
January 12, Group C:
6 pm: Iceland – Serbia
8.30 pm: Hungary – Montenegro
January 13, Group F:
6 pm: Czech Republic - Portugal
8.30 pm: Greece – Denmark
January 14, Group C:
6 pm: Montenegro – Iceland
8.30 pm: Serbia – Hungary
January 15, Group F:
6 pm: Czech Republic - Greece
8.30 pm: Denmark – Portugal
January 16, Group C:
6 pm: Serbia – Montenegro
8.30 pm: Iceland – Hungary
To mark the start of the 2024 European Handball Championships on January 10, the preliminary round matches of the four teams in Group A will be played in Düsseldorf. The opening match will feature France and North Macedonia at 6 pm, followed by the first match of the German team against Switzerland at 8.45 pm in the Merkur Spiel-Arena in Düsseldorf. Afterwards, the teams of Group A will travel on to Berlin to play the remaining preliminary round games. The Deutscher Handball-Bund (German Handball Federation, DHB) team is scheduled to play against North Macedonia on January 14 and France on January 16.
In addition to Düsseldorf, Berlin and Munich, preliminary round matches will also be played in Mannheim. The main round matches are set to take place in Cologne and Hamburg. Teams will compete in the semi-finals in Cologne. The metropolis on the Rhine will also be the venue for the crowning of the European champion and the battle for third and fifth place.
For comprehensive information on match schedules, venues, and timings for the 2024 European Handball Championship in Germany, you can visit the website of Deutscher Handballbund e.V. (German Handball Association).
The hall with its spectacular tent-roof construction, dating back to the 1972 Summer Olympics, has previously hosted numerous World and European Championships. Most recently, in 2019, it was a vibrant hub of handball action during the 2019 European Handball Championships, Handball fans share fond memories of the electric atmosphere in the sold-out hall. In addition to sporting events, visitors to the Olympiahalle can look forward to concerts by top international acts, galas and shows that regularly take the stage. Just like Olympiastadion (Olympic Stadium), the Olympiahalle at Olympiapark (Olympic Park) in Munich stands as a shining and internationally acclaimed example of the successful re-purposing of an Olympic sports venue.
Dominik Klein is one of the most successful German handball players in history. He played for THW Kiel from 2006 to 2016. With his club, he won the Champions League three times, the German championship title eight times and the DHB Cup six times. In 2007, he won the World Championship title for Germany with the national team.
Mr Klein, why did you become an ambassador for the European Handball Championships 2024 in Munich?
I'm delighted to be an ambassador again because I was already an ambassador for Munich and the Olympiahalle for the World Championships in my own country in 2019. And what we experienced here back then was a sensationally atmospheric location that all the organisers, i.e. the German Handball Federation and the EHF (European Handball Federation), found equally outstanding.
We naturally want to repeat this and have brought together the tried and tested team: the city, the Bavarian Handball Federation, Olympiapark GmbH and the ambassadors. This time we even have three of them: My wife Isabell Klein is also involved. Among other things, she was captain of the German women's national handball team and one of the best German beach handball players. I brought decathlete Niklas Kaul into the game because he has an affinity for handball and knows how to become European champion at the European Championships in the Olympiastadion. He can therefore tell a completely authentic story about what we want to convey as ambassadors, namely our enthusiasm for Munich as a location and its cosmopolitanism for fans from all over Europe.
What do you personally associate with Euro 2024?
Passion, emotion and a sensational atmosphere! You can really see all the action from every seat in the wide round of the time-honoured Olympiahalle. The teams from many nations bring a very special flair to the hall. That's why I'm so enthusiastic and have this personal connection to Munich, the Olympiahalle and the 2024 European Championships. I'm also covering the event as a sports pundit for ARD. As no matches will be broadcast on 11 and 12 January, I will be in the Olympiahalle to watch the group matches live.
How did you actually get into handball?
I used to throw a lot of balls around as a little boy, and at some point my mum said: “Hey, leave the vases in the living room! I'm going to be your first Bambini coach.“ My dad then coached me in the minis and my brother, who is six years older, in the e-youth. We also have a younger sister, who I then coached.
My wife comes from an equally handball-mad family. I met her playing beach handball. I'm happy that we can pass on so many handball genes to our two children. Just recently, at the Handball Day in the Olympiahalle, we were there as a family and as part of the big handball family and enjoyed the great atmosphere together.
What was the highlight of your active career?
Of course, the most special thing was being the youngest to experience the 2007 World Cup and being part of the world champion team in my own country. But I don't think it's possible to talk about just one highlight. Of course, everyone says, wow, you're the 2007 world champion, you won the German championship eight times with THW Kiel and the cup six times and the Champions League three times and all the other things you've achieved. But I always see that as a team success, as a reward for a whole year of hard work, endeavour and development.
I played for the best handball club in the world for ten years. I was a figure of identification and no matter where I was allowed to play, I was on fire for the fans and ready to give everything for my club. Now I coach the youngsters. When they look at me with their beaming children's eyes and ask: “When is the next training session, can I bring someone else with me and why is training already over?“, that's one of the highlights for me now that my career is over: Getting children excited about movement, about movement with the ball.
Do you and your wife have a favourite place in Munich?
We are always happy when we manage to cycle to the Olympiapark and experience the flair of the many events that take place there. But we also like to cycle from Oberschleissheim, where my wife's home is and where we live, to the Englischer Garten (park) to have a leisurely breakfast and then linger there for a while. And, of course, Marienplatz and the Viktualienmarkt are always something special, for example to get a freshly squeezed juice and take a stroll.
Thank you very much for the interview!