The “catch-up work” continues over on the profile website with the most thoroughly enjoyable part of the project to re-post in full color. All of the backlogged Bulinews hot-sheets of the “Fans Column” contained their own lovely visual features. They nevertheless can’t hold a candle to what we create on this platform.
Another fabulous optical journey awaits!
Bundesliga Fan Scene Report–Round 33
The 2021/22 German Bundesliga’s penultimate matchday stands before us! Exactly one half of the league’s 18 teams prepare for their final home fixtures of the campaign. There shall be tributes to departing players, the debut of next year’s home jerseys, and (in the case of Bayern) the official presentation of the Meisterschale trophy.
There shall also be loads of great stuff on display from the home-town ultras in all of the nine hosting cities. As a general rule, tickets for the final home games are not placed on public sale by the traditional clubs. One can still of course get tickets for Bayern, Bochum, Freiburg, Köln, Fürth, and Frankfurt via secondary exchanges. Passes for Hertha, Hoffenheim, and Leipzig can be procured on public sale.
All but three of the nine round 33 Bundesliga fixtures sold out on the penultimate matchday of the 2021/22 season. Leipzig, Hertha, and Hoffenheim didn’t pack their houses on their final home matches of the season. Bochum, Freiburg, Köln, Frankfurt, Bayern, and Fürth got their venues filled to the brim.
Some still haven’t gotten over the disappointment of the lack of simultaneous kickoffs in the second-to-last round of the season. While it’s true that the spreading out of kickoff times translates to less drama and some competitive distortion, one benefit concerns the fact that many ultra groups got a chance to shine before larger audiences without competing fixtures on the telly.
We’re pleased to pay tribute to all of them in our weekly attendance feature.
DSC Arminia Bielefeld (at) VfL Bochum
Planned capacity = 25,000 (full house)
A few seats are still available for the final home fixture of VfL Bochum’s impressive first season back in the German top flight. Amazing to think that this team looked dead-and-buried after the early season injury to lead-striker Simon Zoller and the humiliating 0-6 to FC Bayern in round five.
Now, after clinching class preservation last weekend, the 1848ers can reflect upon a season in which they went undefeated against regional rivals Dortmund and even knocked Bayern off in the return leg at home.
What the VfL’s second season in the top flight might look like is anyone’s guess. So too is the lineup for this Friday evening’s highly significant (for relegation-threatened Bielefeld anyway) fixture. Bochum are preparing to send off no fewer than 11 players, including loanees and veterans who will not have their contracts extended, in front of the home-town crowd.
Some tributes are planned.
Attendance = 25,000 (sold out)
“Football as it’s meant to be” over on the Castroper Straße on Friday night. All German football watchers are in agreement. The atmosphere was sensational at the Ruhrstadion. With only a small traveling contingent able to commemorate class preservation with the team away at Dortmund in the previous round, the locals turned out for this one in order to pay their respects.
VfL trainer Thomas Reis got virtually all of the players sure to depart the club this summer onto the pitch late. The team walked off the pitch as winners and celebrated with the fan block afterwards. Great scenes as the fans serenaded some of the veterans, like Robert Tesche, who were headed out the door.
The 1848 supporters–that unfortunate Bierbecher incident notwithstanding–played a very important role in the promoted club’s highly successful season. Bochum collected 22 points in the “Rück-runde”, without which they would be factoring into the relegation race now. So many important home victories. Well done on everyone.
Union Berlin (at) SC Freiburg
Planned capacity = 34,700 (full house)
Probably the best offering of the weekend. Two clubs German footballing enthusiasts can’t wait to see compete in Europe next season jockey for position in the race to partake in either the Champions’, Europa, or Conference league. Definitely the match to circle for those planning on tuning in remotely.
Tickets weren’t even placed on public sale for this one, though those in the area and interested in attending shouldn’t have too much trouble securing passes via a secondary exchange. Expecting quite a bit from ultra groups on both sides. We should be in for the complete inverse of what transpired last week in Sinsheim.
Attendance = 34,700 (sold out)
Hopefully, the sell-out crowd in Breisgau didn’t feel cheated by what many of us considered a “stolen fixture”. Actually, it’s perfectly understandable if they feel cheated. The competitive nature of the game got completely disrupted by some early officiating miscues.
In any event, the support was amazing from this classy club. The SCF even honored current 1. FC Union Berlin midfielder Dominique Heintz with a plaque presentation. One can assume that they’ll do the same for Janik Haberer next year.
That’s just what kind of club these guys are.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen (at) TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
Planned capacity = 30,150 (full house)
Speaking of Sinsheim, the “Hopp-Lites” look to keep their almost non-existent hopes for Europe alive against Germany’s red company team. Odd to think that many Bundesliga lovers will be rooting for Hoffenheim to throw a wrench into the Champions’ League race with a win here.
Naturally, we’ll be rooting for something memorable from this fan-base as well. No more plastic flags, dammit! Schedule a “Fan-society” weaving session!
Attendance = 34,700 (66.4%)
Hrmph. Look, one simply can’t beat around the bush when it comes to this club. It serves its purpose with respect to German football. The home venue nonetheless doesn’t make the recommendation list of German football stadia one should visit. Bundesliga enthusiasts remains largely happy that the PreZero won’t be taking up one of our European slots next season.
So it is.
VfL Wolfsburg (at) 1. FC Köln
Planned capacity = 50,000 (full house)
Should be a fun one, and definitely another sell-out at the RheinEnergie. No public sale for final Domstädter home match of the season. The local support looks to cheer this team into Europe one-year-removed from their emotionally draining relegation scare.
Everyone remember Jonas Hector’s flop on the pitch after the round 28 loss last season?
In the event readers need a refresher:
Attendance = 50,000 (sold out)
A pitch-invasion over at the RheinEnergieStadion even though the team lost. We actually had three pitch invasions in German football this past week. Eintracht fans swarmed onto the ground after making the Europa League Final while the Schalke supporters couldn’t resist pouring onto the Veins-Arena turf following the official clinch of promotion.
No seriously heinous incidents to report upon. The DFB control committee has requested statements from all clubs concerning the failure of security protocols. Er….while the German FA awaits their statements, the club has already delivered its own to its fans via the Geißböcke social media feed.
Does it look as if the cathedral city side is concerned?
Great atmosphere in the stands prior to the post-match stuff too.
Well done, Effzeh Army!
Borussia Dortmund (at) SpVgg Greuther Fürth
Planned capacity = 16,626 (full house) (sold out)
The Middle Franconian hamlet waves goodbye to Bundesliga football on Saturday afternoon. One their one final chance to get behind the local club, Fürth residents snatched up every last pass at the Ronhof. Best of luck to Kleeblatt supporters on their “last day alive”.
Attendance = 16,626 (sold out)
The Kleeblatt boosters did an exceptional job keeping up the chants, drums, and songs going even as their team dropped the result 1-3 to visiting Dortmund. Several touching scenes before kickoff as the Kleeblatt bid farewell to their departing players and their long-time coach.
It looks as if Stefan Leitl won’t even make an appearance on the sidelines for his final match running the squad. Oh well. It might as well pour when it rains, or so Germans are often fond of saying.
FSV Mainz 05 (at) Hertha BSC
Planned capacity = 74,649 (full house)
One can always get tickets on public sale at the “Oly”. The Charlottenburger venue fills up fast, however. Only about 4,000 seats remain available as of Friday morning. A win against the visiting Nullfünfter guarantees safety on the spot. Those in attendance hope to witness the full spectacle.
Attendance = 71,548 (95.8%)
Not quite a sell-out the “Oly”, but one honestly couldn’t tell the difference. The atmosphere remained top-notch throughout this one.
The team and the Ost-Kurve made amends shortly before kickoff after the unfortunate incident at the end of the “Berliner Derby” in round 29. From demands for the tricots to resolute support.
The squad stood before the fan-block and received nothing more than steady and dedicated cheers.
Precisely what we wanted to see.
Borussia Mönchengladbach (at) Eintracht Frankfurt
Planned capacity = 51,500 (full house)
Fairly meaningless league match here. One anticipates more heavy squad rotations from SGE trainer Oliver Glasner. Like Bochum, Eintracht are letting a lot of players go after the offseason. Actors such as Danny da Costa or Aymen Barkok may get final run-outs in front of the hometown fans.
Still plenty of space available for those wanting to check out “the country’s team” in what amounts to an exhibition fixture. The club diehards have to save their money for Sevilla. More wonderful action from last night:
Attendance = 51,500 (sold out)
Think that, just because this match was meaningless, the Adler fans wouldn’t show up? Think again. The locals wouldn’t dream of missing out on the season finale, even if they erected a banner reading “Heute ist egal, holt uns den Pokal!” (“Today doesn’t matter, bring us the [Europa League] Cup”)
Nice tributes for departing players Stefan Ilsanker, Danny da Costa, and Aymen Barkok. Wanna know what else they did? They flew in former captain David Abraham from Argentina so that he could get a proper send-off in front of a packed stadium!
Isn’t that cool?
VfB Stuttgart (at) FC Bayern München
Planned capacity = 75,000 (full house)
Secondary exchanges remain the only way of securing tickets for the match that will see the Meisterschale officially presented to the German champions. Always a special occasion. Felix Magath didn’t need to engage in mind-games in order to motivate the German giants for this one.
Whosoever is on the pitch will be pumped enough after the pre-match festivities. Whosoever wants to go see it live can probably easily get re-sale passes off the season ticket holders. When it comes to the Meisterschale presentation, the home-town fans have already been there and done that over the last nine years.
Attendance = 75,000 (sold out)
Marvelous scenes at the Allianz as the German giants got their first chance to parade the Meisterschale about in front of live fans in over three years. We’ll take it. Even the Bundesrepublik’s Bayern-loathers might tune in for the Meister-feier on the Marktplatz. Why not.
In general, a great day to be a football fan. Bayern may be up to business as usual. Ten consecutive titles. On the other hand, the two years of this pandemic have felt like ten years to most of us.
Something like this almost feels new.
Just go with it.
FC Augsburg (at) RB Leipzig
Planned capacity = 47,069 (full house)
The round concludes with a very meaningful match at the Red Bull Arena. The path to Champions’ League qualification through the UEL now out of the picture, the German Red Bulls must now fight their way back into the top-four in a must-win against a fickle Fuggerstädter team.
Thousands of passes remain on public sale for this one. It definitely counts as a fun watch for anyone in Saxony.
Attendance = 37,029 (78.6%)
Yeah. The RB supporters made some noise, particularly when their tired team just couldn’t figure out a way to move the ball forward during a lethargic first half. It proved kind of cool to see the home support egg their side on and watch the squad ultimately furnish a response.
One still doesn’t wish to end on a final home Leipzig fixture that (very disappointingly) came in well short of a sell out. Things like this just shouldn’t happen in a season finale.
How about some Schalke scenes?
There’s a more uplifting note to conclude on.
Thanks so much for reading!
You can occasionally catch Peter on twitter, @ViceytheSS.
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All columns debut on Bulinews before appearing on Peter’s website later in the week.