2017 World Handball Championship: Paris has the Olympics in their sights

Sixteen years after the last world title captured by the French team on home ground, the AccorHotels Arena is poised to once more be the nerve center for the world handball championships… with the Paris 2024 bid in their sights.

A total of 23 matches are scheduled including the opening match, both semi-finals and the final. To say the least, the AccorHotels Arena (formerly the Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy) will be the stronghold of the Men’s Handball World Championship due to run from January 11th to 29th, 2017. The event will feature 24 nations with France hosting for the first time since 2001, when it won in an exceptional atmosphere. “We expect even more enthusiasm surrounding this event,” promises David Donnelly, marketing manager of the World Cup Organization Committee. “Back then, handball did not enjoy the same impact in France; the national team had not yet achieved their status as five-time world champions, triple European Champions and three Olympic medals.” France – whose key torchbearers epitomize the past thirty years – will nevertheless be put to the test in 2017 facing their usual rivals: Croatia, Poland, Danmark (Olympic champions in Rio), not to mention Germany’s return to form.

A showcase for the Olympics

Before traveling to Nantes to compete in the rest of their group matches, the “bleus” will open proceedings playing against Brazil in the AccorHotels Arena, following an inaugural show. Recently renovated, this 100% connected venue, equipped with handy, free Wi-Fi, can accommodate up to 15,000 spectators and is projected throughout the competition “to serve as a showcase for the Paris bid for the 2024 Olympics,” maintains David Donnelly. “With just seven more months before the IOC’s decision on where to award the Games, we will be under intense scrutiny. But this kind of pressure is inspiring.” Indeed, 200,000 spectators are expected to visit the Paris site during the fortnight, with foreign visitors accounting for 20% of visitors, especially as the round-robin due to be held in Paris includes Sweden and Denmark, two handball territories that attract more than their fair share of fervent supporters.

Events programmed outside the Arena

Hopefully attracting customers to businesses as well? The Organizing Committee and the City of Paris are working extra hard to encourage potential spectators to extend the experience beyond the sporting arena. Accordingly, the Bercy Village commercial site, only a five-minute walk from the venue, will be wholly in step with the event. “Traders will be involved in the operation. They will be assigned a country and have decorated storefronts. January is traditionally a dead period after the holidays, so the idea immediately appealed to them,” notes David Donnelly, who is currently considering mounting a photographic exhibition. Not far away, a temporary handball court will be installed on the Place des Vins de France with a special surface, where events and VIP matches will be hosted in a convivial atmosphere. May the best team win!


The ticket office is open!

While individual ticket sales have been open since September, the organization also features bundled offers for the most loyal supporters available on the dedicated event website via a ticket sales tab: http://www.francehandball2017.com/en/.

It is therefore possible to purchase packages by city (Paris, Nantes, Metz, etc.) or by team, depending on whether one is supporting the Danish, Slovenian or the French. These bundled offers have already resulted in the sale of more than 160,000 tickets.

Prices range from €50-€230 depending on the offer. For the final in Paris, prices range from 60 to €250. Recently renovated, the AccorHotels Arena offers the very best reception conditions for VIPs and facilitates a much greater range of hospitality products than in its former layout.