You may have visited Flyctory.com the last days hoping to have some coverage of the Neuchatel World Floorball Championships this year – maybe because you liked my previous coverages with sport-live.net / unihockey-pics.de or the coverage of the WFC European Qualifications early this year. Unfortunately, as you see, I decided not to travel to Switzerland. Similar to colleagues of other floorball media, I at least wanted to explain you some of the reasons.
How does my WFC coverage work?
Undoubtedly, I do have favorite teams. My beloved Hungarian women team deservedly did not qualify into Switzerland, I do have a couple of good friends in Finland and last but not least, I do support the German team, though they sometimes do not see that. Of course, I cross my fingers for Switzerland as well, as I have always been very welcome there. However, I never wanted to be the media guy of a certain country or team. Flyctory.com should cover the event. Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Czech Republic – they will all be shiny on the final days’ coverage, but a WFC coverage would not complete to me without seeing teams like the USA, Estonia or Japan. In previous WFCs, you at least found snippets of reporting and picture of quite a lot of matches, also from the “minor” teams.
In order to achieve that, I need three key things: preparation, keeping a strict schedule during the WFC days and good logistics. The WordPress structures of Flyctory.com signficiantly ease the preparation (I can create a lot of structures already before the beginning of a tournament). A hotel right next to the venue compared to one with a thirty minute one way venue will make me pay in the most valuable currency I got during a WFC: sleep. Amount: one hour, each day. Ideally for Switzerland, I would arrive by train from Germany (as I can work in the train) and also go back home, not just because Greta would love me for that, but as it is additional work time compared to flying or driving a car.
Why a WFC 2019 Coverage did not work
Neuchatel has been chosen for political reasons. Floorball is a growing sports in Switzerland, but majorly all the teams are coming from the German-speaking parts of the country. There is some good development in the Italian-speaking parts as well, but the development in Western Switzerland, where people speak French is… moderate. Swiss unihockey wanted to promote the sports in this “weak” region. The arena is great, but the city itself does by far not have the capacity to hold the event. The few central hotels are extremely pricey. Even if I would have decided to go by car, I would have had to face a daily parking rate of 40 Swiss Francs on top of any other budget.
My final estimate thus was that a reasonable coverage of the event in a way which makes me and you happy would have been in the range of 2,500 Euro minimum. This is in the range of the Belleville U19 Women WFC some years ago – taking place in Canada! I just returned from Pittsburgh, where I flew in Premium Economy, had to position myself with Business Class flights to Munich Airport before, paid 400 USD for two NHL matches and four nights and a rental car there. This trip was cheaper than going to Neuchatel – a city which is about five hours by train away from my home town.
My Thoughts about future WFCs
I feel that the IFF as a governing body of floorball made a huge mistake to allow to assign the WFC to Neuchatel. I feel having the event in Switzerland is fine – and being there will always be more expansive than playing in Czech Republic. But the host city this time has definite and obvious weaknesses, which you cannot neglect. The participating teams can compensate it by moving out of the city and reduce their cost. This however means that they will be less present in the arena watching a period or two of their Swedish or Finnish idols. I think that this is also key for a floorball event. We are a great, but developing sports and need these opportunities, also on top level. If you organize a WFC like that, there may even be economic selection in some countries (i.e. worse players from richer families will be selected). The worldwide floorball community should not pay for the Swiss development of the sports in a that significant way.
Luckily, the next venues might be easier. Commuting to the arenas in Helsinki (Men WFC 2020) and Uppsala (Women WFC U19 2020, Women WFC 2021) will be well possible and even in Helsinki, you may find much better deals than for Neuchatel. Look forward to be there!
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