ITTF, DTTB and Düsseldorf start the countdown to the 2017 LIEBHERR World Table Tennis ChampionshipsPhoto: David Young
In less than 11 months, the 2017 LIEBHERR World Table Tennis Championships in Düsseldorf will start
The countdown is on: In less than 11 months, the 2017 LIEBHERR World Table Tennis Championships in Düsseldorf will start. Representatives of the so-called Sports City of Düsseldorf, the ITTF and the German Table Tennis Association were all looking forward to it as they pointed out at the first press conference in Düsseldorf City Hall on Wednesday.
The big yearly gathering of the table tennis family shall be carefully prepared: There are 8 days of the tournament from May 29 to June 5, 2017, but the several halls of fair “Messe Düsseldorf” will be occupied for 17 days incl. construction and dismantling. On the 50,000 square metres reserved for the 2017 WTTC, 7,000 square metres of wooden sub construction with the red sports flooring on top must be laid, 100 table tennis tables will be put up in 3 different halls, and the main exhibition hall is going to be transformed into a real centre court with a steep grandstand for up to 8,000 spectators, which should – as hoped by the German organizers – become a real lion’s den especially on the final days to support German players.
Table Tennis, Triathlon, Tour de France: Super sports year 2017 in Düsseldorf
The table tennis highlight fits perfectly into the concept of the super sports year 2017 in Dusseldorf with Table Tennis, the European Triathlon Sprint Championship and the Grand Départ of the Tour de France. "The World Table Tennis Championships are one of 3 highlights in our city. Next year the sports world is looking at our city - Düsseldorf benefits from this as well as the World Table Tennis Championships do. Above all, we are of course looking forward to welcoming the international associations, all athletes, volunteers and fans who will come to our sports city,” said Mayor Thomas GEISEL.
"The 2017 LIEBHERR World Table Tennis Championships are the largest indoor sports event in the world. Once a year the table tennis family is coming together, attracts fans and television viewers from around the world", explained ITTF President Thomas WEIKERT. "The ITTF with its 222 member nations is the largest sports federation in the world. This size is also reflected in the demands on our World Championships, but gives also a huge benefit to the hosting city".
Live images of WTTC’s are regularly broadcasted in over 100 countries, primarily to Asia, especially to China - on CCTV around 200 million people watched this year's World Team Championships in Malaysia. Around 500 journalists from around the world are expected for reporting in television, radio, newspaper and on the internet from Düsseldorf. The number of users of ITTF social media users in the WTTC period rises to the tens of millions.
Table tennis, also an economic factor
"In addition to recognition and prestige World Table Tennis Championships are also a very direct economic factor", explained Michael GEIGER, President of the German Table Tennis Association (DTTB). "We expect up to 55,000 spectators. 4,000 accredited already, including 700 male and female players from 130 countries, will take 18,000 overnight stays in the city. At a Glance: The LIEBHERR World Cup is good for the table tennis sport in Germany and good for Düsseldorf and the county of North Rhine-Westphalia".
For months running in the background, preparations for the 2017 WTTC are still in full swing. As one of the German national team players, Patrick FRANZISKA could inform himself at the City Hall about the preparations. "I am looking forward to our home match in 2017. Back in 2012, I was still 19 and only the sparring partner for our team at the World Team Championships in Dortmund. Anyway, the men’s final Germany versus China in front of a full house gave me pure goosebumps," the now 24-year-old said who lives in Düsseldorf. At the 2015 World Championships in Suzhou, he reached the quarterfinals. "Let's see how far I can get next year backed by our crowd".