Friday 20th August 2021
Bundesliga also has problems
DFB is giving away all tickets for Flick’s debut
The German Football Association has been fighting for a long time with dwindling audience interest. When Hansi Flick made his home debut, he took an unusual measure and gave away the tickets. The Bundesliga clubs are also amazed at the lack of fans.
The German Football Association is drawing attention to itself with an unusual campaign. In the upcoming home debut of Hansi Flick as national coach, the fans in the Stuttgart stadium do not have to pay an entrance fee. Almost all available tickets are issued as free tickets. Only the hospitality areas are excluded. “From the Bundesliga the players are already familiar with playing in front of fans that we all missed in the stadiums,” said DFB director Oliver Bierhoff, describing the campaign as “a thank you to our fans”. The fans had withdrawn their trust in the national team after the recent weak performances at the major tournaments, sometimes excessive marketing campaigns and also because of the chaotic conditions in the association.
Before the onset of the pandemic, the alienation between the national team and the spectators had repeatedly caused larger gaps in the home games of the German selection and in fact the action had already been planned for the international match in Cologne in October 2020. However, the official requirements at the time as part of the pandemic containment had prevented this.
“Of course we would like an atmospheric backdrop and we are happy about every single fan who will support our national team live in the stadium, especially since the game in Stuttgart against Armenia will be the first home game of our new national coach Hansi Flick,” said Peter Peters, who alongside Rainer Koch is currently one of the two interim presidents of the crisis-ridden association.
Peters added that the DFB “after difficult months and weeks of the pandemic” wants to provide “a little lightness, joy and variety” again. From Monday, tickets will only be available to members of the FanClub national team. From Tuesday, the remaining tickets will be given out as free tickets.
The Bundesliga is also fighting for the audience
Not only the DFB is currently attracting attention with unusual campaigns. For example, the Bundesliga club TSG Hoffenheim wants to sell tickets “until half-time” and “depending on the score” for the upcoming home game against Union Berlin. 15,000 spectators are admitted, but so far only 7,000 tickets have been sold for the game on Saturday.
Such problems had already appeared on the first day of the Bundesliga. After a long waiting period, fans were again allowed throughout Germany, but despite significantly reduced capacities, not all clubs were able to bring their ticket contingent to the fans. In Augsburg, Mainz, Stuttgart and Wolfsburg, not all of the allowed seats could be filled, but heavyweights such as Borussia Dortmund and Union Berlin were also surprised by the low demand.
Like the DFB, most of the clubs rely on the so-called 3G model and not only let vaccinated and recovered spectators into the stadium, but also those who tested negative. However, some clubs such as Borussia Dortmund and 1. FC Köln will rely on the 2G model for the upcoming games and will only not allow spectators who are over 18 years old to enter the stadium. During the BVB game against Eintracht Frankfurt, this led to rather curious protests from a few unconventional thinkers.