Club and Stadium Report: FC Internationale Berlin 1980

For the first time since starting this blog, I have decided to delve even deeper in to the Berlin league pyramid and on Saturday, I had the pleasure of sitting in sunny Schoeneberg and taking in a Landesliga clash between FC Internationale and Mariendorfer SV. The home side won 4-1 in what was a surprisingly high tempo and free flowing affair. Here is the profile of their club and stadium.

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The History

Formed in 1980, FC Internationale was set up initially as a statement against the growing commercialization of football in Berlin and Germany as a whole and were founded on the principles of playing for sportsmanship and fun. Since this date, the first team have floated between the Kreisliga, Bezirkliga and most recently the Landesliga, in which they currently compete. The club have 900 members from more than 38 nations, a make up that truly reflects their name. Finally, they are also known for taking a tough stand against racism and recently combined their anti-commercial principles with their anti-racist stance when they waived their shirt sponsorship in favour of the simple slogan of “No Racism”. In 2013, they won the Integration Prize from the DFB and this is a true honour and a testament to the hard work put in by those behind the scenes.

Another article that delves slightly deeper in to the founding principles and the focus on inclusivity can be found here  http://bundesligafootball.co.uk/2013/02/a-tale-of-a-football-friendship/. This article was written by Felix at Groundhopping etc. (www.facebook.com/groundhoppingetc).

 

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The Stadium

Although the club have 2 stadiums, the 1st team games usually take place at the Monumentenstrasse Sportplatz in Berlin’s Schoeneberg district. Quite a simple affair, the ground has 1 side of terracing, including a few seats and then the rest is mostly just lined with grass. One thing to add of note was the quality of the pitch which was at a very high standard. There is also an artificial pitch that backs on the main stadium and is used during the bitter, Berlin winter.

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The Way

Take the S1 train in the direction of Potsdam to Julius Leber Bruecke. Exit the station to your left and turn on to Czeminskistrasse, walk for 450m and turn right on the Monumentenstrasse, the stadium is on your right hand side.

The Food

Good selection of meat on the grill including Bratwurst (€1.50), Sujuk (€1.50) and Steaks. I had a Bratwurst and it fell very much in to the generic Stadionwurst category. Good, necesscary but nothing special.

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The Beer
€1.50 for 0.3l of Veltins or €2 for 0.4l. This seemed to depend largely on what cups they had left as to which you would be charged upon placing your order.

The Tax

€5 for full paying adults, €3 for everybody else

Photos included are courtesy of Ian at No Dice Magazine (www.nodicemagazine.com and http://www.facebook.com/nodicemagazine) and Felix at Groundhopping etc. (www.facebook.com/groundhoppingetc)

Club and Stadium Report: Tennis Borussia Berlin

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Following yesterdays profile on 1.FC Union, I thought it was only fair to give my other love in this city the long overdue profile that they deserve. If you are one of the 14 people who read this blog regularly or you know me personally, you’ll be aware that I love Tennis Borussia Berlin, like really fucking love them. This is a club that has genuinely made my life in Berlin even more enjoyable than it already was. It is a club where I have met some of the coolest and nicest people I know, a club which has given me both the coldest and the wettest football matches I’ve ever experienced (Turkyemispor at home, SCC Charlottenburg at home), a club where the fans dedication and passion to some pretty dire football is unique and a club that has given me an excuse to explore the deepest recesses of Brandenburg for some pre-season friendlies. The openness and welcoming nature of the support is second to none and I personally find it physically impossible not to enjoy myself at the Mommsenstadion or when travelling around the other grounds in the city with TeBe. So, here is the extremely biased profile of by far the greatest team, Berlin has ever seen…. LILA-WEISSE!!!!!!

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The History

This may seem like a bit of a cop out for the 2nd day running but when there is such a good history, auf Englisch, already written on the website, I think it is slightly pointless for me with all of my 1 years of knowledge to try and explain to you the history of a club who have been in existence for more than a century. If anybody knows who wrote this history, please let me know so they can be credited as it is a truly fantastic and concise piece of work.

A link to this can be found below.

http://www.tebe.de/history.html

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The Stadium

The Mommsenstadion is an odd one. Massive for its league, it does unfortunately seem very empty on even the busiest of match days. The stadium holds 15,000 people (11,500 according to the Fussballmafia), 1800 of which are in the rather grand looking old seated tribune. With attendances currently sitting at between 200 and 400 (by far the highest in the 6th tier) on a weekly basis, it doesn’t take a seasoned Groundhopper to work out just how desolate and soulless that can look.

TeBe have resided in the Mommsenstadion since the end of the 2nd world war and despite several attempts to move them to the Poststadion in Moabit, they still remain in what many see as their rightful Eichkamp home.

It is, like so many in Germany, plagued by being a multi-purpose stadium meaning that there is a running track and American Football posts dotted around the pitch.  All this aside though, it is definitely worth visiting for so many other reasons than the actual stadium which is, aside from the nice looking stand, pretty damn average.

Still this should not deter you from getting along to a game. Get down to the Mommsenstadion and  chat with people, listen to the array of languages being spoken on the terraces, take in  the fantastic mix of punk and alternative music being blared out over the abysmal speaker system and get involved in  the unbelievably funny multilingual and multi-tonal singing coming from the E-Block (which, I must add, is where you HAVE to stand). There is also a massive chance you’ll meet one of the many English/Half English supporters from clubs as diverse as Fulham, Brentford, Arsenal, Southend and York City who are there on an almost weekly basis.

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The Way

Located in deepest West Berlin, the Mommsenstadion is not the closest of grounds to the more central districts of Berlin; however, it is quite easily accessed via S-Bahn. S5 services in the direction of Spandau will lead you to Messe Sud Station. If you are lucky, there will be a few fans dotted around who you’ll be able to follow up to the Stadium. If not, just turn right outside of the station exit and continue walking through the woods. The stadium is on your right hand side.

The Food

Bratwurst , Boulette and Brezel are available from the kiosk on your left as you enter the ground and Brezel are available from the Beer stand in E-Block. Prices are around the €2.50 mark for meat and €1.50 for Brezel but I’ll need to verify that when I am next there. They are also one of the only clubs in Berlin to stock Vegetarian food but I couldn’t possibly comment on price or quality of this as I am a certified Wurst addict.

The Beer

€3.00 + €1 pfand/deposit for a 0,4 glass of Berliner. Annoyingly, the most expensive beer in the league but it is a vital ingredient for any afternoon or evening at the Mommsenstadion. Be sure to ask for a loyalty card as well, particularly if you are planning a bit of a session as 8 stamps will earn you a free beer.

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The Tax

€7 for an adult, €5 for a concession. €1 programmes available on the gate.

Photos included are provided with thanks to Ian at No Dice Magazine (www.nodicemagazine.com and http://www.facebook.com/nodicemagazine)

Club and Stadium Report: 1.FC Union Berlin

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Today we are profiling a club and a stadium that has the rare ability to leave me a drunken, happy and slightly broken mess every single time that I go along and that is 1.FC Union Berlin. For a Groundhopper this stadium should be put at the top of any sort of bucket list that you may have drawn up in a fit of Anorakdom.  I have been along to almost every home game in the year I have been living here and can’t see myself missing many more in the future. Und niemals vergessen…… EISERN UNION, EISERN UNION, EISERN UNION.

The History

I am fearful of writing a history here as this is a club with a rich history mirroring the chequered and divided past of this great city and I don’t think it can be trivialized in a short paragraph.

So, with this, I’ll leave this history to the “experts”.

http://www.union-berlin.com/sample-page/history/

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The Stadium

This stadium oozes history and character and is something that everyone involved with the club is very proud of and rightfully so. Built by the hands of the supporters, it is one of those unique things in modern football, a stadium built for the fans, by the fans and not for the growing armies of prawn bagel eaters that so often attend matches in the higher echelons of the game.

For me, the Stadion An der Alten Försterei in Berlin’s Koepenick district, is one of the most beautiful pieces of stadium architecture that there is, an opinion that is echoed by almost every single person I have been along to a game with. Despite being in the 2nd tier, there are still 3 sides of terracing, one behind the goal containing the loud, ultra block and another large stand covering 1 side of the pitch and the other goal, it is truly one of the most unique grounds that the whole of Europe, let alone Berlin, has to offer. They have recently completed the renovation of a 4th stand and this contains 3018 seats giving the stadium a real full and complete look to it. The whole setting of the stadium is perfect as well and involves a short woodland walk to enter the stadiums grounds. The facilities for making the match day experience enjoyable are also second to none. With “biergarten” style benches dotted around behind both the Sektor 2 and Sektor 3 terracing, it is quite possible to have a full day, in the ground and not feel like you’ve missed out on any of the pre and post match drinking. I could eulogise about the Stadium for a long time and could quite feasibly write a book about the thousands of reasons you need to get along there but I don’t think my ramblings can do it justice. Go along to a game. See it and feel it for yourself.
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The Way

The nearest S-Bahnhof is Koepenick and is reachable using S3 services from Ostkreuz in the direction of Erkner. Then just follow the masses of red and white clad shirts to the Stadium via a quick pint at the Union Tanke and the Abseitsfalle which are on route to the Stadium.

The Food

The standard selection of Bratwurst and Steaks are available from Stadium and are highly recommended. These are priced at €2.50 each. Further to this, as one of the bigger clubs in the city, you are more likely to have other options including the formidable cake stall at the back of Sektor 3 which sells Quarkuelchen (little balls of warm donutty wonder) which make a very good companion when the bitter winter sets in.

The Drink

Pre match, it is advised to stop for a pint in both the Union Tanke and the Abseitsfalle. Pints in both of these are €2.50 with Veltins being sold in the Tanke and Krombacher being sold in the ‘falle. Inside the stadium, the beer facilities are exceptional. Pints are available from multiple outlets in the Stadium including people actually bringing them to you on the terrace. Pints are €3.50 in the stadium and the Beer on offer is Berliner Pilsner.

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The Tax

Sektor 1 – Prices for adult seats vary between €28 and €40 depending on where you sit. Unless you have to, I would not recommend paying for seats as the terracing is a fantastic experience.

Sektor 2 – €13 for a full paying adult standing ticket, €11 for a concession, €7.50 for a child

Sektor 3 – €14 for a full paying adult standing ticket, €12.50 for a concession, €8.50 for a child

Sektor 4 – €14 or a full paying adult standing ticket, €12.50 for a concession, €8.50 for a child

Tickets are available for most matches from https://www.themisweb.fr/rodwebshop/fListeManifs.aspx?idstructure=0267

Be sure also to check out www.union-berlin.com for English language ticket news.

Unless it’s the St Pauli game or an “Ostderby” against Dresden or Cottbus, it’s usually very easy to get a ticket. If people need me to help with anything or making sure that you have secured tickets then just let me know.

The Fixture List

All fixtures can be found at the link below.

http://www.fc-union-berlin.de/profis/spielplan/

Photos included within are used with great thanks to Felix from Groundhopping Etc (www.facebook.com/groundhoppingetc) and Ian from No Dice Magazine (www.nodicemagazine.com and http://www.facebook.com/nodicemagazine)

Club and Stadium Report: FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin Lichterfelde-Tempelhof

Today we are profiling FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin Lichterfelde-Tempelhof eV or FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin to their mates, as we went along to catch their 1-1 Regionalliga  Nordost draw  with  1.FC Union Berlin II on Friday night. All photos are included with massive thanks to Felix at Groundhopping Etc (www.facebook.com/groundhoppingetc) who has kindly offered to provide us with some visual relief to the wall of text that existed here before.

A view of the clubhouse

Clubhouse, floodlights and terracing

The History

Formed as a Fusion between FC Viktoria Berlin and Lichterfelde FC, FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin are an ambitious new challenger in the race to become Berlins 3rd footballing power behind Hertha and Union, combining the rich history and tradition of FC Viktoria with the exceptional youth set up, ladies team and stadium facilities of LFC, it was a fusion that was largely supported by the members of both clubs.  The Viktoria half of the fusion is where the history comes from and is the reason why this new club are able to boast 2 German Championships in the form of a gold star on their badge. These were achieved in 1908 and 1911 and since those exciting days when they were at the very top of the fledgling German game, Viktoria have been a team that have largely floated between the 4th and the 7th tiers of German football, peaking last season with their lifting of the Oberliga Nord trophy under the stewardship of Thomas Herbst to win promotion in to the Regionalliga and achieve what might be attributed as the most important moment in the founding of the new fusion team.

Lichterfelde FC or LFC Berlin, are one of the largest “vereins” in Berlin and currently have around 1200 members registered with them. Included within this, they have 40 active youth teams making them the largest junior football club in the whole of Germany. In terms of the 1st team, LFC spent a great deal of the last decade in the Oberliga, usually occupying the mid-table places. It took the merger with Viktoria to make that next step up and they are now in a very stable situation as a club.

With the Regionalliga Nordost season now in full flow and with the LFC Ladies team gaining promotion to the 2.Bundesliga last season, the new fusion club now have some flagship teams to give their push for the 3rd crown of Berlin some added  firepower and this season will prove pivotal for the overall success of the project and the club as a whole. I feel that if they are able to build on the already excellent foundations they have in place, and if they can at the very least, maintain  the impressive start to this seasons attendance figures, they could be in a very good situation to lay claim to the title that they set out to gain.

The main tribune and terracing

A great view of the Tribune, the Terracing and the Catering FC Foodgasm Headquarters

The Stadium

Stadion Lichterfelde is one of the bigger and more traditional stadiums in Berlin and boasts one of the nicest tribunes in the city. Aside from the main seated tribune, there is a terrace running along the front of the seats and places to stand all around the pitch. The atmosphere has been nothing but friendly all of the times that I have been there and it is a genuine pleasure to take in a game here. The stadium also have the much coveted accolade of being named as Catering FC amongst local football circles  which just adds another reason why a visit to the Stadion Lichterfelde is a must. The only drawback I can say is that there is a running track around the pitch but for those versed in the stadiums of Germany, this is an all too common problem across the board and not one specific to Viktoria.


The Way

Either take the S-Bahn to Lankwitz and walk from there, takes around 20 minutes or so. The other option is to take the S1, S2 or S25 to Rathaus Steglitz and pick up bus number 186 from there. This will then drop you right outside the stadium at a stop of the same name.

Catering FC HQ - VIP tickets get you a spot on the balcony...

Catering FC HQ – VIP tickets get you a spot on the balcony…

The Beer

The Beer facilities at Stadion Lichterfelde are pretty exceptional. There are 2 (maybe 3) mobile bars dotted around the ground, one situated near the away end and the other situated by the entrance. In these bars, they serve Berliner Kindl at a very reasonable €2.50. However, this is not the only place to buy beer here and it is certainly recommended to arrive early and visit the clubhouse. Here, they serve a selection of local and national Pilsners and Erdinger Hefeweizen out of the tap. Again, Beers are €2.50 for a 0.4l glass.

The Food

As mentioned above, Stadion Lictherfelde IS Catering FC. With the usual array of Steaks, Bratwurst and Boulette (priced at €3 and €2 respectively) available from the grill, you can’t really go too wrong, however, the Stadion Lichterfelde fat blokes dream does not end here. The clubhouse is also a restaurant and serves a full, seasonal menu of German food at a very reasonable price. I’ve had the pleasure of eating there prior to a game last season and we were able to have a proper meal, for between €5 and €10. There is also an Imbiss selling Chips, Currywurst and Bockwurst and this is located next to the clubhouse.

The Tax

€35 for a VIP Ticket (includes buffet and all you can drink bar…), €8/€6 for a seat in the tribune or €6/€4 for a standing ticket. They also offer a Family Ticket for 2 adults and 2 kids for €12. Kids under 12 years old get in for free.

The Fixtures

The next home game takes place on Sunday the 1st of September at 13.30pm as they welcome Optik Rathenow for a match in the Regionalliga Nordost.

 

Match poster for their next home game against Optik Rathenow - taken from the official club Facebook page

Match poster for their next home game against Optik Rathenow – taken from the official club Facebook page

Club and Stadium Report: Berliner SC

Todays Club and Stadium report focuses on one of Berliner SC who are one of Berlins oldest sport clubs. We were there for their BerlinLiga defeat against Eintracht Mahlsdorf.

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The History

Located in the sleepy district of Grunewald, Berliner SC have a rich history across multiple different sports. The original football division of Berliner SC can boast honours in the shape of the 1930 German Championship. This was, however, as Hertha BSC who broke away from the overall club following the post war dissolution of sport clubs across a newly occupied Germany. In recent years, Berliner SC have floated between the Landesliga and the BerlinLiga and currently reside in the 6th tier and had an impressive finish to last years campaign, finishing 4th,

View from the small stand at Berliner SC. Photo courtesy of D.A.W.B

View from the small stand at Berliner SC. Photo courtesy of D.A.W.B

The Stadium

Berliner SC have their Club Home at the Hubertussportplatz on Hubertsallee in West Berlin. The complex itself has facilities for multiple different sports and it is not uncommon to be able to catch a Rugby or Hockey match straight after the Football (why you would want to, I don’t know). The football pitch is the main Grass surface in the complex and is located to your left as you enter. It is possible to sit near the clubhouse so you aren’t too far from the beer and still be able see the game but there is also a small, seated stand that runs adjacent to the touchline. 

The Way

Take the Ring Bahn to Halansee where you can pick up the M29 bus direction Grunewald/Rosenbeck to Herthastrasse. You can also take other S and U Bahn services to Zoologischer Garten and pick up the same bus. The ground is opposite the bus stop and can be found on your left hand side.

The Beer

Beer is only available from the clubhouse and is priced at €2.80 for 0.5l. The beer they serve is Veltins.

The Food

Unlike most stadiums around the city, there is no grill at Berliner SC but they do have an extensive menu in the clubhouse. They do everything from proper meals down to Wurst and Pommes. Between us we sampled the Burger and the Currywurst which were both pretty good and priced at €6.50 and €3.50 respectively which was excellent value for what you get.

An proper unit of a Burger. Photo courtesy of D.A.W.B

An proper unit of a Burger. Photo courtesy of D.A.W.B

The Tax

€7 for adults, €5 for concessions, €3 for kids

Club and Stadium Report – SV Empor Berlin

Todays Club and Stadium report focusses on Prenzlauer Berg’s SV Empor Berlin, who we went along to see in their 2-1 BerlinLiga defeat at the hands of Füchse Berlin Reinickendorf.

The History

With over 600 members, SV Empor Berlin boast the largest football department in the Pankow district. During the DDR years, the club spent a lot of the time floating around between the lower divisions of the East German league system, the highest point being when they were able to reach the Bezirkliga in 1989. Following the reunification of the nation and the city, the East German Bezirkliga sides were integrated in to the West German system and Empor found themselves spending most of the subsequent decade in the Landesliga (except for a 3 year stint in the Bezirkliga between 2000 and 2003). In 2008, they were promoted to the Berlin Liga and have been there ever since.

The Stadium

Empor play their home games at the Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Sportpark and are usually playing their games in the small stadium next to the Cantianstrasse entrance. The ground itself is a really nice setting for watching football with trees lining one end and impressive buildings in that typical East Berlin style overlooking the pitch from the opposite side to the road. It is also reported that this pitch is the oldest known football pitch in Berlin.  Having watched both games in the depths of winter and the height of summer here, I must say that it is one more suited for Summer evenings The ground holds around about 500 people, most people tending to congregate in front of the clubhouse. The clubhouse itself is a small affair but is very friendly and modestly priced. 

The Way

Take the U2 to Eberswalder Strasse and follow signs to the Stadium and Cantianstrasse. The entrance is through the building on your right hand side as you enter on the left of Cantianstrasse. Alternatively, you can take the Ring Bahn or other S-Bahn services to Schoenhauser Allee which is about a 7 minute walk away from the stadium.

The Beer

Unfortunately for local beer enthusiasts, the only tap beer on offer is Schalke-sponsoring and general “distinctly average pilsner”, Veltins. Again though, as is always the case in Berlin, it’s €2 a pint so it would be very rude to take too much issue with it. They also sell bottles of Hefeweizen and these are priced at €2.50 a go. 

The Food

Bratwurst and Boulette were available and were priced at €2 each.

The Tax

€6, programmes are usually available for €1

With thanks to Glenn for spotting the mistakes in here

Club and Stadium Report- 1.FC Wilmersdorf

Another feature we are going to try and include on the blog is to profile the Clubs and Stadiums that make our weekends so much more entertaining. The aim is to provide a balanced view on what you should expect from a trip to these stadiums and also a brief bit of history surrounding the clubs involved.

1.FC Wilmsersdorf

1.FC Wilmsersdorf

In the first of these, we are having a look at last seasons 6th placed BerlinLiga side, 1.FC Wilmersdorf  at their opening match of the season versus Stern 1900.

The History

1.FC Wilmersdorf were formed in 1989 as a fusion between the Football divisions of Wilmersdorfer SC and SV Preussen Wilmersdorf. As a relatively new club, 1.FC Wilmersdorf have spent the majority of their 23 year existence in the lower echelons of the German Pyramid. In their modern form, Wilmersdorf’s crowning moments where their Berlin Liga victory in 1993/1994 which subsequently led to 2 seasons in the Oberliga (1994/1995 and 1995/1996) which was the 4th tier of German football at this particular time. In recent years, the club have moved between the BerlinLiga and the Landesliga and this seems to be a level that the club, and the facilities are very comfortable with.

The Stadium

The Sportanlage Blissestrasse an der Volkspark is located on the edge of the beautiful Volkspark Wilmersdorf. With 2 all-weather pitches, the club have the facilities in place to cope with life in the BerlinLiga and are able to accommodate up to 1000 supporters in the stadium (although, I fear this would be a step to far for the stadium!). Although the stadium is very much of the “metal fence around an artificial pitch” mould that is so common in Amateur German Football, it has a fantastic clubhouse and food facilities more than making up for the slight lack of character within the stadium. They also have Sky Sports in the bar meaning that it is always possible to watch the Bundesliga games over a cheap beer following a BerlinLiga match.

The Way

You can get there either by taking the U1 to Berliner Strasse or the U7 to Blissestrasse. Both are a short walk to the ground. Otherwise, it is possible to go to Schoeneberg S-Bahnhof and have a 30 minute walk through both Volkspark Schoeneberg and Volkspark Wilmersdorf which is highly recommended for the more active among you.

The Beer

The clubhouse sells Schultheiss from the tap and a selection of other local pilseners and wheat beers are available in bottles. At €2.50 a pint, it’s hard to complain despite the obvious shortcomings of one of Berlin’s oldest brews.

The Food

A good selection of food was available from the Grill and this included Bratwurst (€1.50) and Steaks (€2.50). The club also has a very friendly clubhouse with a sizeable menu. Between us we sampled the Currywurst and Schnitzel which were both very tasty and at €6.50 each, both were definitely worth every penny.

The Tax
€7 for a full paying adult, €5 for a concession, €3 for a kid