When you think of German football, you think of Bayern Munchen and Borussia Dortmund as the teams to look out for in Germany. However, due to circumstances, we were in Germany slightly longer than we had planned. Which meant only one thing, to experience a Bundesliga match. We had been told about this match, and it was a shame as we were due to have left Germany 2 days previously.
Back home, it is all too common for football fans to get screwed out of there hard earned cash to pay to watch a bunch of overpaid pre-madonnas branch around a football pitch for 90 minutes in what can often end up lifeless, unentertaining and a severe lack of atmosphere. When I worked for Brighton and Hove Albion FC last year, the cheapest adult ticket would cost you £25.00 (32.50€), and that’s if you wanted to sit in the home end where all the passionate fans who stand the whole game will be located. However, if you wanted a pitchside halfway line ticket, this would cost you minimum £32.00 (41.60€) going up to £42.00 (54.60€) which is a ridiculous amount of money for football in the second tier of English football.
When you compare that to Mainz 05, who are riding high in the Bundesliga in Germany we got a ticket for there to match against Schalke 04 for just 15 € (that’s right only £11.53), this is a massive 46% saving to be in the same area of the ground amounts the hardcore Mainz 05 home fans.
Then, of course, you need to have yourself a pint of beer on the terraces, this is something that is illegal back in the UK thanks to Maggie back in the mid-80’s. She was quoted as saying “radical change” was needed to kerb violence inside football stadiums. Thankfully, such reign has not been around in Germany as the atmosphere inside the ground surrounded by fans drinking and smoking (yes, smoking inside the ground also) was relaxed and not once did I feel unsafe.
What Is The Atmosphere Like?
You would expect the atmosphere to be very similar to that in the UK, only hearing singing from the ‘die-hard’ fans in one specific area of the ground. Oh, how wrong was it, you had all areas of the ground (packed I need to add, on a Friday night as well) singing and chanting your team. I don’t know how it would have been if the team was losing as during this match Mainz wasn’t in a losing position at all. However, when Schalke 04 scored the equaliser, the ground didn’t just go mute. They picked up the team and became the 12th man.
After the game, I found out depending on the result and the team they were playing they have this sort of ritual. All the players huddle around, and the man of the match heads into the stand where we were standing. Yep, the MVP of the game comes into the stand, gets himself on the PA system and starts chanting something (this is where my German skills got tested to no avail). I was later told that it is them spelling out Mainz and then doing a crazy little dance. It was a real party atmosphere, and something I doubt I will ever experience back in England.
Would I Ever Go Back?
Yes, season tickets for Mainz 05 in the area I was in were just 185 €, that’s peanuts compared to that in England. It would work out over the course of the season to support Mainz 05 get a season ticket and then fly for every home game. It would still be cheaper than the dross and shit that you are often subjected to at English stadiums.