The European Men's Handball Championship in 2014
Denmark hosted the European Men's Handball Championship in January 2014
Four preliminary groups were played in the cities of Aalborg, Copenhagen, Herning, and Aarhus.
In Aarhus, the teams from France, Poland, Russia, and Serbia competed to be among the three teams to make it into the following main round, which was also held in Aarhus.
The three first of these teams made it into the main round where they played against Croatia, Sweden, and Belarus for a position in the semi-finals and the finals in Herning.
France went on to become European Champions by beating Denmark with a clear margin in the final, and Spain took bronze against Croatia.
The execution of the championship was a huge success, both for the Danish event organisers and for the European Handball Federation, the EHF.
In the words of the EHF after the European Championship: ”This event was yet another milestone for the sport of handball in terms of media, TV and spectator interest. The EHF EURO 2014 was one more step in the development of the sport.”
Even though Aarhus did not supply the venue for any of Denmark's matches, the 15 Euro matches played at the NRGi Arena nevertheless contributed significantly to the success of the event.(
Although Germany, with its always reliable and sizeable fan base did not qualify for championship or the group matches in Aarhus, the NRGi Arena was, nevertheless, almost sold out for several of the matches. An average of 3,400 spectators attended the matches on each of the six match days).
To make the visit in Aarhus truly memorable for the handball fans from out of town, a fan zone had been set up in the old Equestrian Hall where you could listen to music, enjoy some food and drink, and watch the matches that were being played in Herning on the largest big-screen in town. This was especially popular with local citizens who couldn't get tickets for the sold-out matches in Herning, and they made extensive use of it. On several of the evenings, many people turned up in vain because the Equestrian Hall, which was perfectly sizzling with national match atmosphere, as it was already jam-packed.
The Danish Handball Federation was also exceedingly satisfied with the collaboration with Aarhus:
”…. Thanks to your whole-hearted and highly creative efforts the matches in both the preliminary groups and the main round were great hits with the audience – and the fan zone in the Equestrian Hall certainly contributed to this in no small measure.
France and Poland in particular have expressed their appreciation at how the fans from abroad were treated to first-rate Danish hospitality and friendliness…."