"I WAS HAPPY THEY PLAYED AT ALL.“

Gaping holes in the 2020/2021 events calendar

Words that make you think but that also explain a lot. They were said by Rolf Engau, who has worked at BVB Event & Catering GmbH for some six years and who is convinced: "Without matches behind closed doors, or special match operations as it's correctly called, I wouldn't have a job anymore! COVID meant a complete loss for us. We had additional costs for the health and safety protocols, but almost no income. What employer can afford to do that without operations for an indefinite period of time? All of us in the team are thankful that we're still here."

Rolf Engau is responsible for making sure that everything is in tip-top order in the stadium's hospitality areas. More than 300 service staff are there on match days to look after our guests. "Catering is all about details – and I make sure the apron sits just right. Most people probably don't think about how much teamwork is needed at a home match. During the time without spectators, there were times when we were spread throughout the entire company." Our employees worked in merchandising, helping to make masks, or they helped our fan representatives organise solidarity initiatives. They helped out where they were needed. "Now, everyone's happy that we can be hosts again!"

The additional work in the stadium should not be underestimated. "We hung up hundreds of square metres of perspex to comply with the health and safety requirements at the food service counters and in the seating areas. In everything we did, we made sure to avoid anything unnecessary – and not just for cost reasons. Even before the pandemic we avoided using paper placemats. I'm actually all for dressing everything up, so I was sceptical at first. But we're following the same line by using environmentally friendly napkins and dispensing with straws and cup lids. Not that long ago we were still going through thousands per match..."

Being flexible is a must in events management. That's the way it's always been, including when it comes to planning holidays. "I take my holiday during the team's international break – I'm here every match day." Nothing out of the ordinary, except for one little thing: "You take your holiday when there are 41,000 spectators in the stadium and return to 67,000 spectators. How long were you gone? One week!"