A golden hand to guide the fans
On the eve of the EHF EURO 2014's final day a glimpse of the next European Championship was already to be seen, as the organisers for the Men's EHF EURO 2016 unveiled the tournament's mascot at the Papp Laszlo Sportarena on Saturday.
The mascot has the shape of a golden hand with blue eyes and a red and white smile, and it will guide the fans to and within Poland where the next EHF EURO event will take place from 15 to 31 January 2016.
Starting already early next year, it is planned that fans will be able to participate in a naming competition for the mascot.
Poland was awarded the right to host the Men's EHF EURO at the EHF Congress 2012 in Monaco.
"In close cooperation with the EHF we have kept to all set timelines so far," said Marcin Herra, Vice President of the Polish Handball Federation, at the presentation in Budapest.
Hosting cities of the 12th Men's EHF EURO will be Gdansk, Wroclaw, Katowice and Krakow.
"Large venues in large cities will welcome fans from all over Europe", said Herra.
The capacities of the arenas vary from 6,000 in Wroclaw to 15,000 in Krakow where the largest multi-purpose arena on Polish ground just opened its gates in 2014.
Ergo Arena in Gdansk has a capacity of 10,000 spectators, and so has the Spodek Arena in Katowice.
All four venues will be used for matches in the preliminary round, while the main round will be staged in Wroclaw and Krakow, where also the final weekend will take place.
"It is our clear goal to have full arenas," said Herra.
"The Men's EHF EURO will be the most magnificent sport event in Poland after our country hosted the European Championship in football in 2012 and the Volleyball World Championship this year.
"It will be the biggest event in the 96 years the Polish Handball Federation has been existing," added Bogdan Sojkin, the Vice President Marketing for the event.
On 15 January, exactly one year prior to the start of the EHF EURO, countdown clocks will be installed in all four hosting cities.
Ticket sales are foreseen to be launched in spring 2015.
After the conclusion of the qualification matches in mid-June 2015, the final tournament draw will take place at a special place: in the Wieliczka salt mine in the Malopolska Region.
And the biggest part of the promotion activities will start in autumn 2015 when the EHF EURO trophy will travel not only through Poland, but as well through all other 15 countries participating.