A recent article at Handball-World chronicled the French Ligue Nationale de Handball’s (LNH) decision to not play their Coupe de la Ligue Final Four again in Florida next year. As had been reported by several outlets, the French League has decided to unilaterally break their 3 year contract with the Miami organizers. The Handball-World article, though, has an interesting twist in that it also reports that USA Team Handball and the LNH are now discussing the possibility of hosting the event in New York City as early as next spring.
In email correspondence, USA Team Handball General Manager, Steve Pastorino, confirmed that preliminary discussions between the two organizations have taken place. As the translation of the Handball-World text is somewhat garbled he also provided a copy of his correspondence:
“The event in Miami was a disaster as the promoter misrepresented himself to the LNH and did not have the backing of USA Team Handball or any recognized entity in the USA. Less than 500 people per game attended, and there was no USA television distribution. It was handball played in an empty arena. We have met with Alain Smadja and LNH and are moving towards a partnership to play the Final Four in New York in 2010, with the full support of USA Handball. More details to come. We think events like this can be very exciting if promoted correctly. We have an agreement to host German National Team and Polish National team for a match in Chicago in 2010 that we will announce soon.”
As a final note, USA Team Handball President, Dieter Esch, indicated in a brief note that he will be meeting with LNH President, Alain Smadja next week in Paris to further discuss U.S. – French cooperation.
Handball-World: No American Dream – French LNH next Final Four will not deal with them in U.S.: http://www.handball-world.com/o.red.c/news.php?GID=1&auswahl=22029