Plittersdorf After residents of the American Compound contacted the city of Bonn, it has now forbidden the club from using drums in the stadium.
What’s it like living next to a baseball field? Until two years ago, Elke Wanner and Hubert Vianden would probably have answered the question with “good”. The two have lived in the American Compound, close to the Bonn Capitals stadium, for 14 years. There have never been any problems, says Vianden.
Cheers, cries of encouragement and other sports noise during the matches “have never bothered us”. Now, however, drummers are regularly in the stadium during the season to cheer on the baseball players – sometimes permanently and for hours, Wanner and Vianden say.
As a result, Vianden says they can no longer use their balconies when the drums are in use, as it is no longer possible to have a conversation. It is a similar picture inside the apartment, says Wanner. “The noise penetrates through closed windows.” This makes “life in the compound much less liveable” in summer, notes Vianden.
They are not alone in their view. There is deep frustration in the neighbourhood. “The overall package doesn’t work anymore,” says local resident Annette Hach. Noise during matches, parking chaos during flea markets – all this was fine. But the drumming is wearing, monotonous and unbearable.
Numerous other residents, who have signed a petition, agree. This was sent along with an accompanying letter to the city, the club, and the landlord, Vebowag. The aim was not only to get relief but also to get together and find a joint solution.
Far too much noise pollution
However, according to Wanner this has not yet happened. There has been an acknowledgement of receipt from the city. They also met with Ute Heid, vice chairperson of the Capitals. “She signalled her help but at the same time said that she had no control.” We heard nothing after that, says Vianden, either from the Capitals or from the city.
However, the city definitely got to work. “We carried out measurements,” Isabel Klotz from the city’s press office told the GA. The result: the noise pollution is much too high. “That’s why we have banned the drumming,” says Klotz. This was reported to the club at the start of August.
The athletes disagree with the residents’ account. Heid had suggested a compromise: fans would only continue to drum during the playoff games, “and then only during exciting and important phases of play.” This would be at most on six afternoons per year for one to one and a half hours. “The two residents categorically rejected this,” says the club.
“We find it a real shame and regrettable that sports fans wanting to support their team are not allowed to express this, and that residents are complaining about the peaceful and enjoyable enthusiasm of sports fans,” said the Capitals.
(Original text: Ayla Jacob. Translation: Kate Carey)