Sports facilities are crushing energy prices, some winters are threatened with the end after the New Year

According to him, energy costs are already high at present, while another sharp increase can be expected after the New Year and the end of price fixing. “Just last week, a megawatt-hour cost 26,000, which would mean one million and 300,000 for us at fifty megawatts per month, which we consume on average. This is simply unrealistic. That’s not possible,” Veselý explains.

“We will already be paying around three hundred thousand for energy, which is also a lot. There is partial help from the city, we can earn something, but any further increase is unacceptable for us without help from the state,” he adds.

Wandering through winters: In Rakovník, they would need reconstruction of the roof and changing rooms

At the same time, the Rákovnické stadium belongs to the city, which will have to compete for a new energy supplier for the club. Accordingly, a new price will be determined after the New Year. “At this moment, I don’t know at all what prices we will be talking about. I’m just watching the increase and possible decrease and I’m afraid of what awaits us from the New Year. We have traffic covered until December,” Veselý describes, admitting that even the worst possible scenario can happen. “There is also the possibility that we will have to close after the New Year,” he says.

The club is therefore preparing to implement various cost-saving measures, the form of which will be discussed by the executive committee. Specific options may include increasing membership fees, increasing the price for renting the ice surface, or saving on heating and water. “Any savings we accept will ultimately mean small things. The price increase is so huge that these savings only cover a crumb of the whole pie. It won’t be popular, but I hope people are watching what’s going on and we’ll find understanding,” wishes Veselý.

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But as he himself says, the most important thing will be support from the outside, i.e. from the state or the city. In theory, the Czech Ice Hockey Association could also help winter stadiums. “We received some questionnaires from the union, but we still don’t know what they are planning,” Veselý shrugs.

He is understandably in contact with the operators of other stadiums in the area and knows very well that they are all dealing with the same problems. “The situation is critical everywhere. We call each other, and nearby winters like Černošice or Žebrák are fighting with a similar thing. No one has yet found a way out of it. But it’s not just winter sports, all sports venues will go to hell,” concludes the vice-chairman of the Rakovník club grumpily.

Hockey training in Rakovník Kladno - Karlovy Vary 2:5.

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And what is the situation elsewhere in the region?
We asked selected clubs how much of a problem rising energy prices are for their operation.

Josef Fuksa, chairman of Lokomotiva Nymburk (speed canoeing): “It is a serious problem. We will have to get the money from the children, i.e. their parents. It means that membership fees will go up in the first place. As a result, there may also be a decline in the number of athletes in our ranks.”
David Šváb, spokesman for Basketball Nymburk (basketball): “It’s a negligible problem. It’s not something to put us down yet.’
David Kubát, manager of HC Podebrady (hockey): “No problem. But I’ll add right away – for now. But it is clear to us that everything can be different in January.”
Vladimír Zeman, president of Sparta Kolín (football): “It is a serious problem. For the time being, we will collect the same contributions in the fall, but in the spring we could try to increase them.”
Martin Maršálek, Šacung Benešov (football): “No problem. It doesn’t affect us directly because we are under the municipal sports facility. We do not need electricity except for boilers and water heating for the showers. We play in the outdoor temperature season. Maximum heat in autumn or early spring. In winter, we use halls that are city or school, and we don’t yet know how the conditions will be set. We are not planning a radical increase in contributions.”
Ladislav Černý, SK Tochovice (football): “No problem. Of course we feel it is uncomfortable. Watering and anything costs something. It’s a big item that goes for it. Two thirds more for energy – at least it goes to tens of thousands. We are leaving contributions as they were last year, at most they will increase by a few percent. We are not planning a radical price increase, although we know it is a burden for us.”
Vojtěch Paul, Dobříš (floorball): “It’s a marginal issue. We will increase the contributions by ten percent, which is 500 to 600 kroner per person in our standards. This is because there is heating in the falconry. According to our information, the hall will become more expensive, so we are trying to cover the costs not by increasing them rapidly, but by at least minimizing them by ten percent, so that Sokol does not have to subsidize it from other grants. There is no danger that the price increase would affect us in any significant way, so that we would have to close something, cancel it, or increase contributions just for energy. It goes hand in hand with inflation. Compared to other sports, our contributions are quite high and we don’t want to radically increase by fifteen hundred.”
Miroslav Peterka, Kocouři Příbram (volleyball): “No problem. It hasn’t affected us yet because the existing contracts are running, but from the New Year it will threaten the running of the club.”
Ivan Bartůšek, HC Lev Benešov (hockey): “No problem. It doesn’t threaten us yet because we’re under the city’s sports facility, so we’re fine. But we don’t know what will happen next.”
Jiří Hondl, chairman of Sokol Hostouň (football): “It is a serious problem, which in the future may have the potential to threaten the existence of the club, or at least limit its activities, if a systemic solution is not found. The increase in prices has already affected us in the form of energy bills, which in part already included this year and the increase in prices in the first half of the year, where the increase was almost one hundred percent, although it was not the full amount of current prices. There really aren’t many solutions. We depend on both gas and electricity. In the first phase, we set up cost-saving measures and are looking for technological solutions. Unfortunately, an investment of this nature to make sense is high.”
Petr Brabec, sports manager of SK Kladno (football): “It’s not a problem yet. We are not fighting yet, we have fixed prices until the end of the calendar year. We will see what offer we get from the distributors after that, but of course we are very worried. We already pay about a million crowns for energy annually.”
Zdeněk Hořejší, chairman of SK Slaný: “So far it’s a marginal problem. As SK Slaný, we do not pay for the consumption of electricity or water on the playground (cabins, watering, etc.), that is paid for by the municipal company Multipurpose Sports Hall. We only pay for the electricity consumption for lighting the artificial lawn and the stand’s electricity consumption, which until now has been around 30,000 crowns a year.”
Milan Fortuník, chairman of Kladno Volejbal (volleyball): “It’s a marginal issue. We have leases from the Sports Complexes of the city of Kladno, so we are still waiting. We will be more affected by accommodation expenses.’
Zdeněk Jirák, chairman of Kanonýri Kladno (floorball): “So far it’s a marginal problem, we don’t have our own sports field, we are in the premises of the Sports Complexes of the city of Kladno. If an increase in energy prices were to occur, we would have to solve it either by requesting an increase in support from the city, or in the worst case by increasing contributions. But I wouldn’t like that very much.”
FBC Rakovník (floorball): “It threatens the existence of the club. Our floorball club is an indoor sport with eight league teams, which means that the halls are very busy and the financial demands are high. We have sent a request to the city for an additional contribution to sports activities for our club, regarding price matching before and after the increase. As the biggest sports club in Rakovnick, we don’t have a home environment rented from the city for one crown like other big clubs, but we pay the city schools, city sports hall, falconry, etc. rents at full rates. To give you an idea, last year our club paid over 600 thousand crowns for all rents. Except for Mr. Pavlík, the city council rejected our proposal. We have been forced to increase contributions to our members. After the contribution increase, we received other new prices from some institutions, higher of course. So our negotiations with the city will continue. When one looks at the initially very unfair distribution of money by the city to sports clubs for activities where money is distributed without an official key or official documentation, and our club receives 150 thousand crowns, it is scandalous.
Milan Maršner, vice-chairman of HBC Kladno (hockeyball): “Rising energy prices have not yet affected the club. We are not the owner and operator of the sports ground. We use the sports field as a rental, which is not tied to the hourly price of use. The price list remained the same for this season, for which we thank the operator – the Sports Complexes of the City of Kladna.”
Petr Darmoš, Sokol Kosorice (football): “It’s not a problem yet. We haven’t had to deal with energy yet. But it can come, only now it will start to heat up and shine more. But what we had to deal with was the increased price for buying lawn fertilizer. We have already felt the increase there.”
Ondřej Pechanec, FC Malibu (futsal): “No problem. Since we play our matches in a hall that belongs to the city, we are governed by the rent. This has not yet increased the prices for this season, they are the same as last season.”
Miroslav Staněk, TJ Auto Škoda (judo): “No problem. As for the judo section, so far the football club, in whose area we have a gym, has not raised any rates. In the gym we have a storage stove for night current. But the physical education unit of AS will definitely have to deal with sports grounds that heat up significantly – a bowling alley or a mountain hut in Erlebaška.”
Pavel Šuba, manager of SK Olympik Mělník (futsal): “It affected us as much as any other sport. Maybe even more. Since we are an indoor sport and we mainly play in the months when the halls have to be heated and lit, the increased energy prices are very visible in our budget. But it also applies to the increased costs of washing and drying the jerseys. So I have to choose the example that it is a serious problem.”
Jiří Krejsa, chairman of HC Junior Mělník (hockey): “The answer is that it is a serious problem that threatens the existence of the club and the operation of the winter stadium in general. As I announced, we have fixed the kWh price until the end of this year, and the new contract and price proposal will probably be at the turn of October or November. Until then, we can operate without problems, but how the whole situation will develop further, at this moment, no one is able to predict. We can only hope that the situation on the stock market calms down and the price stabilizes at a level that is bearable for everyone.

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The article is in Czech

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