World class athletics will return to Germany on 12 June with the PSD Bank Flight Night in Dusseldorf which is reported to be the country’s first professional sporting event in front of spectators since the COVID-19 outbreak.
The event will not be taking place in a stadium or in a town square. A pole vaulting facility will instead be constructed inside the Autokino Dusseldorf drive-in cinema for the inaugural event which will be headlined by three of Germany’s leading pole vaulters: Raphael Holzdeppe, Torben Blech and world fourth-placer Bo Kanda Lita Baehre.
"Finally! I am very much looking forward to the first showdown after the lockdown. The competitive atmosphere, the great atmosphere for which the Düsseldorf audience is known - I am sure this event will also be a real highlight due to the special location. I don't think a pole vaulter ever jumped in a drive-in cinema,” said Lita Baehre who also won the European U23 title in 2019.
Spectators can watch the action unfold right in front of them from their safety of their cars or on the big cinema screen. The organisers are also keen to stress that all containment, hygiene and social distancing measures will be strictly adhered to.
“By staging a pole vault in the drive-in cinema, we can quench the thirst for a top-class sporting event in front of an audience and at the same time ensure compliance with the Corona Protection Ordinance. When the athletes take off in the spotlight late in the evening, it becomes a spectacular event for the spectators that has never been seen before,” said Lars Wismer, Sport Director at D.LIVE.
The event takes place on 12 June and begins at 9.00pm local time.