The housing of thousands of refugees at Berlin’s former Tempelhof airport has set off a scramble to find new venues for some 30 events previously held on its grounds.
Among the biggest attractions forced to alter plans is the 2016 Berlin stop on the Formula E series for electric cars. The e-mobility race was held last year on roads in and around the airfield, which closed in 2008 when it was turned into a huge park.
But housing some of the more than 1 million migrants in Germany has become priority this year. The famous Nazi-designed terminal building and hangars that sweep round a long section of the airfield’s perimeter are being converted to accommodate up to 7,000 refugees, putting paid to events such as Formula E, the Lollapalooza music festival and Bread & Butter fashion fair.
But organizers at the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, motorsport’s governing body, have decided to stick with Berlin for its May 21 Formula E race. Now the Berlin Senate is seeking to shift the circuit to Karl-Marx-Allee, the broad communist-era boulevard that once hosted East German military parades. The 2-kilometer (1.2-mile) route would run from the famous Alexanderplatz.