The topic has occupied the Frankfurt swimming scene for decades.

At the end of the 1970s, Michael Groß climbed out of the swimming pool in his hometown to plow through the water in Offenbach with crawl leg kicks and dolphin arm strokes.

The training conditions for the later Olympic and world champions were better there, in Frankfurt there was a lack of a 50-meter pool in a hall in which competitive sports could be swum all year round.

From 1982 to 2007, the Rebstockbad filled the gap;

after a lifting platform, through which the wave pool could be converted into a competition pool, gave up the ghost, this training opportunity was no longer available.

Daniel Meuren

Editor in the Rhein-Main-Zeitung.

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In the foreseeable future, a replacement is to be created, as City Councilor Mike Josef (SPD) announced on Thursday against the backdrop of the old Rebstockbad, which is currently being demolished.

"We will submit the proposal to the sports committee and the supervisory board to expand the planned 25-meter pool in the new Rebstockbad to a 50-meter pool." The early planning allows this expansion at reasonable additional costs and with an acceptable delay of a good six months for the opening of the new Rebstockbad planned for 2026.

The construction costs, 89.5 million euros were approved by the city council last year, would increase by ten to twelve million euros.

In addition, there are a good five to seven percent additional costs, which according to Josef are foreseeable due to the building materials crisis and the effects of the Ukraine war.

According to Boris Zielinski, managing director of the baths, the operating costs would increase modestly compared to the increase in quality.

"Gordian knot is cut"

According to Josef, the swimming center of the Goethe University, which was previously planned for the needs of competitive athletes, will not incur any costs in the foreseeable future because it is unlikely to be realized due to the long planning period and against the background of the city's budgetary situation.

Such a “replanning would take more than a decade.

“Here on the Rebstock is the only way to a 50-meter pool that can be realized in the short term,” said Josef, who emphasized that this was not the end of the university pool.

But the project would certainly be a long way off.

“But sport needs this sign now.

Frankfurt is a swimming city with tradition, but without infrastructure.” The 20 largest German cities and also ten municipalities in Hesse can boast a pool suitable for competitive sports, but it is missing in the home of numerous successful swimmers.

The high number of visitors during the pandemic also shows the need for swimming facilities, which justifies the additional investment.

Michael Ulmer, chairman of the First Frankfurt Swimming Club, praised Josef's initiative, especially since the pool is 25 meters wide and has Olympic dimensions, which, together with a small grandstand, enables larger competitions with up to ten lanes to be held.

He pointed out that the swimming community only approved the decision to have a 25-meter pool on the condition that the university swimming center would be built in the foreseeable future.

Since this will not happen, there is no alternative to the planned expansion.

"Now the Gordian knot is tied," he said.

Like Josef, Ulmer hopes that the state will contribute to the financing.

In addition, an application as a federal base is conceivable, which could open up additional financial sources.

However, there will be no increase in the diving tower from seven and a half to ten meters, which was also requested by the swimming clubs.

According to Josef, the additional costs are disproportionate to the added value.