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Boomtime For Bundesliga

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The German Bundesliga has recently announced record profits - partly due to the 2006 World Cup - but, as BBC World Service programme World Football has discovered, it may well be down to beer, sausages and standing up.

 

Often lacking the pace and energy of the Premiership, the big star names of La Liga or the glamour of Serie A, the Bundesliga nevertheless has the highest average attendances in Europe and the greatest goals-per-game ratio of any of the big four leagues.

 

Last weekend, a sell-out 81,000 crowd watched bottom-half club Borussia Dortmund lose 2-0 at home to title-chasers Werder Bremen.

 

It is worth asking then, what makes the fans turn out in such huge numbers here, while attendances in some other parts of Europe are falling?

 

Well, for one thing, German supporters are not exploited.

 

Ticket prices are low. At Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park, for just £9.50 you can join 27,000 fans on Europe's largest standing terrace.

 

A season ticket costs around £102 for 17 games and there are cheap deals for families and generous reductions for students, pensioners and those doing national service.

 

That means enough money left over for the second key ingredient - beer!

 

It is perfectly normal during Bundesliga games to see fans carrying fistfuls of plastic beer mugs back onto the terraces.

 

Vast quantities of beer are consumed across the country every weekend, often to wash down that other German match-day staple, sausages, yet drunken misbehaviour or trouble inside the grounds is extremely rare.

 

In the wake of Hillsborough the German authorities considered following the English model of all-seater stadia but the objections of fans were listened to.

 

Instead, an agreement was reached whereby all Bundesliga clubs must guarantee that at least 10% of tickets are for standing areas.

 

The result is the continuation of a very traditional match-day atmosphere.

 

One Dortmund supporter told us that the standing terraces are "the soul of German football".

 

Above all, there is a sense that the game here has not been hijacked - neither by big commercial interests nor by hooligans.

 

It still belongs to the, ordinary, decent fans and perhaps that is the secret.

Isegrim your comments would be greatly appreciated. :nufc:

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Well, the nice effect of standing is unfortunately spoiled in most grounds by teenage "Ultras" forcing their understanding of an "atmosphere" on you. In the worst cases with megaphones. Add to it the cringeworthy jingles played after goals etc. and the atmosphere is very plastic. I've only been to one top flight game this season in Stuttgart where the awful stadium adds to the crap atmosphere. And a lot of clubs are still only selling alcohol free or at least light beers. A couple got granted exemptions though.

 

But it shows that the safeness of standing isn't really an issue if done correctly. And tickets are really quite cheap in comparison to England.

 

I don't totally agree with the bits about commercialism and hooligans. Some of the Ultra groups are as bad and as in other leagues the hooligan problems have mainly been shifted to the lower leagued.

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Thinking of heading over to Germany for game in the new year.

 

I'm sure there's some on here that have been to matches over in Germany before.

 

Any recommendations of where would be best to go? St. Pauli is something I've heard great things about for a matchday experience.

 

Obviously Dortmund would be great but it always looks like tickets for their matches sell out really easily.

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Thinking of heading over to Germany for game in the new year.

 

I'm sure there's some on here that have been to matches over in Germany before.

 

Any recommendations of where would be best to go? St. Pauli is something I've heard great things about for a matchday experience.

 

Obviously Dortmund would be great but it always looks like tickets for their matches sell out really easily.

 

2oooj

St Pauli is well worth the effort, although they are having an average season.

Been to Dortmund's ground which is an amazing stadium but not for a Dortmund game.

Hertha Berlin are worth a visit but beware the local schnapps, can't remember what it is called but fuck it can do some damage.

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2oooj

St Pauli is well worth the effort, although they are having an average season.

Been to Dortmund's ground which is an amazing stadium but not for a Dortmund game.

Hertha Berlin are worth a visit but beware the local schnapps, can't remember what it is called but fuck it can do some damage.

Berlin got relegated and are playing in an half empty stadium, don't think it would be a nice match day experience...

 

In the 1. Bundesliga I'd just stay clear of Augsburg, Fürth, Hoffenheim, Wolfsburg and Stuttgart (although depending on the game) for a good matchday experience.

 

I'll give more detailed informations about teams if you want to.

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We're just waiting to find out about holidays etc for someone then I'll let you know what the possible fixtures are around the time we're planning on going.

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I've always fancied a Bundesliga game. The songs etc as Isegrim said seem very generic and plastic, but it seems a good atmosphere at many games.

 

I've studied their stadiums and clubs over many years, I don't like Hamburg or Schalke's ground, they're similar, they seem very characterless as does Bayern Munich's despite the mass adulation of it. The best grounds for character and atmosphere, well without any doubt, I think Dortmund is number one, I think SJP could be as good with standing mind, so I'd consider Dortmund or Kaiserslautern. I'd have considered Leipzig as the stadium is pretty, but their team are in the fifth tier I believe, I remember that stadium from the Welt Meisterschaft in 2006, but would be like watching Gateshead reading the crack.

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Berlin got relegated and are playing in an half empty stadium, don't think it would be a nice match day experience...

 

In the 1. Bundesliga I'd just stay clear of Augsburg, Fürth, Hoffenheim, Wolfsburg and Stuttgart (although depending on the game) for a good matchday experience.

 

I'll give more detailed informations about teams if you want to.

 

Merry Christmas Wolfy (the real one, not the recent psycho).

Yes, realise Hertha were relegated last season, along with St Pauli, but it was more about giving 2j another reason to go to Berlin.

btw have their crowds really dropped to half capacity?

They are top of the table at the moment and their local derby against Union is in Feb, wouldn't that be worth a look?

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You hardly can get a decent atmosphere in the Olympic stadium - even when it is full. Berlin is of course worth a visit, but for a good crowd I'd go to Union Berlin in the Alte Försterei. They are bit like the eastern Germany/Berlin version of St. Pauli.

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