High energy bill sword on sports facilities


Denmark self-governing venues hit hard Image: IFFD

A new study shows that rising energy prices can spell fiscal trouble for self-owned sports and leisure facilities in Denmark.

‘IFFD’ (Sports & Leisure Facilities in Denmark) stated that the sports facilities are facing the impact of the volatile energy rates.

Budgets are under pressure due to rising energy prices, and since the vast majority of sports facilities depend on pre-determined municipal subsidies, the inflated bills hold the risk of the facilities bleeding white.

‘IFFD’ further stated that the study revealed that nine out of 91 facilities – or well over 10 percent – said that they risk closure as energy bills are “whopping”.

In addition, 30 respondents believe that in the long run they will have to reduce opening hours of the sports and leisure facilities.

The study also revealed that at major risk are the self-owned sports facilities which run the risk of either shutting shop or reducing its opening hours which is a direct hit on their business.

The above development is giving sleepless nights to the IFFD as several of its member-facilities are also facing the heat of huge energy prices.

Lamented IFFD Chairman Henrik Hvidesten, “Several IFFD members have told us that their energy bills are rising like never before. And the scenario is worse for those facilities which boast swimming pools and ice rinks.”

The Way Out

Hvidesten asserted that solving the problem is not a cakewalk.

He stated that it depends to a large extent on the organization of the concerned municipality and the concerned facility. In this connection, the Chairman informed that sitting across the table and thrashing out matters is a way out instead of the facilities facing a situation of temporary or permanent closure.

Several facilities and municipalities have already initiated measures to use minimum energy which is the right thing to do so. But if energy prices continue to soar, these facilities will require more subsidies and the sports and leisure facilities’ operators will have to talk with the local authorities in this regard, suggested Hvidesten. After all, everything boils down to the taxpayers’ financial health.

At some point of time, a political dialog will have to take place if the energy prices continue to rise and a call will have to be taken on whether the funds and energy at the municipalities’ disposal be spent on the sports facilities or on other heads, he further added.

At the end of the day, it is all about welfare.

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