Not cooled by the relegation of its men’s team to Pro B, Champagne Basket has set itself a rise in the elite by 2025. An ambition that applies to the women’s section. At the same time, the club is working on the creation of a “showcase” in Châlons.
Champagne Basket aims to move up to the elite, for both boys and girls, by 2025. (© Friday Weekly)
The blow, so dreaded for several years, fell a few weeks ago. The boys of Champagne Basket return, after eight years of rank within the Elite, to Pro B. But this setback on the sporting level does not call into question the projects of the Champagne club which always sees big in the near future. . Tired of having to struggle with limited financial means, the Marne union has been working for several years on a global project which should allow it to comfortably install its two flag teams, the boys and the girls, at the highest national level. A goal shared by many clubs, but which Champagne Basket intends to achieve thanks to a strategy that is as ambitious as it is innovative. To achieve this, the Marne Union has devised a plan, “achievable within two or three years and based on three pillars”. Unsurprisingly, the first of them provides for the installation of the men’s team at the Arena de Reims when it returns to the elite. “All the experts agree, to progress and claim a top 10 in the elite, you need economic leverage and for us, it’s the Arena”, supports Grégoire Lefèvre, general manager of Champagne Basket. By evolving next year in Pro B, the men of Thomas Andrieux will therefore always play alternately in Reims and Châlons. “While waiting to find the highest level, we will still play a few matches at the Arena to monopolize the places”. A first test is already planned for next Christmas, as well as at the end of the season, while other matches could be organized there in the event of qualification for the play-offs. The second pillar concerns the women’s section. “The objective is the same, with accession to LFB by 2025, indicates Philippe Sauret, president of Les Pétillantes. We already have the capacity on the sporting level, but to stay there, we must also progress on the financial level. “And if the boys are scheduled to play in the Arena in the long term, the girls would settle at the same time in Châlons. “When you look at the clubs of the women’s elite, most are in medium-sized cities like Charleville, Bourges or Mont-de-Marsan, with attendances around 2,500 spectators. In Châlons, there is a real basketball audience, but it will have to be tilted in favor of the Sparklings. To do this, we are therefore targeting the elite, but also a rapid participation in the European Cup. “” This is the solution that we carry on the sporting level, now we remain humble, because we are aware that there is reluctance, continues Grégoire Lefèvre. We must take our pilgrim’s stick and convince. “Champagne Basket notably went to spread the good word to elected officials with a nice surprise in its pocket: the construction of a window, the third “indissociable” pillar of the club’s project. “It’s about creating a place that will bring together our offices and our sports equipment where the professional men’s and women’s teams, as well as the hopefuls, will train”, explains the general manager. And this “flagship” would see the light of day in Châlons, in the former Chanzy military barracks, located a stone’s throw from the city center and the Coubertin hall. “We want this place to be shared as much as possible with the public, thanks to an event program combining sport and culture, but also via a restaurant, grounds open to all, recording studios…” A plural project , resolutely innovative, likely to attract new partners, and which looks like a very nice consolation prize for the city-prefecture. Its inauguration, modeled on the sports calendar, is hoped for no later than 2025.