Berlin Sports & Outdoors Tips by Henrik_rrb
Berlin Sports & Outdoors: 50 reviews and 70 photos
"Boss, let me in! I wanna play!"
Sometimes one is lucky enough to get into places where one actually shouldn't be. Now, I do realise that for most people it's nothing spectacular to sit on a substitute bench in a stadium which belongs to a team in the second German division.
But I'm sure there are a few out there who understands me...? No? No one...? Geez.
Anyway, it was the day before the big Derby in Berlin, Hertha against Union, and my friend and guide Erik brought me to Köpenick to make me feel the Union atmosphere.
We got to the Stadion An der Alten Försterei (Stadium near the old Forester's house, don't ask) in time for the team's training, but it was locked for both spectators and press. We were told to come back later though, so after a quick lunch we went back and saw an empty stadium - with open doors.
We just couldn't stop ourselves from sneaking in. There was a man cutting the grass, but otherwise just us. First we walked around on the stands, and then went inside on the pitch too. And then sat down on the substitute bench. :)
1. FC Union Berlin is a special club in Germany. Always the little brother to Hertha Berlin, being more of a family club. During many years it was in East Germany, playing in the league there. They had some success, but most of the time they didn't.
Same thing when Germany went united again, where also economical problems hit the club. A few times during the 1990s they went up to the second division, only to not be given entry due to the economy.
In 2008 the club decided it was a must to restore the old stadium, but with no money it was an impossible task. Up until 2300 supporters came along and said they would do the job for free. Only for the real complex tasks construction workers were called in, otherwise everything was done by the supporters. All together they worked for free 140 000 working hours and saved the club millions of euro.
Today the stadium takes a maximum of 19 000 supporters, with only 3800 seats. I still have to come here and watch a game, but hopefully that day will come soon.
And hey, I've already been seated on the bench. :)
Equipment: Union plays in red, so that's a good color to wear. If you see men or women wearing a red helmet it's nothing to worry about. The club gave a helmet to each of the supporters who had helped during the stadium restoration.
Tickets to the games are not always easy to be found, but they are for sale both at the stadium and through the online shop at https://www.eventimsports.de/shops/index.php3?shopid=188.
Address: An der Wuhlheide 263
Directions: Köpenick area. If I don't remember totally wrong one take the S3 train and get off at S-Bahnhof Köpenick. Then you have 10-15 minutes walk to the stadium.
Theme: Sports Watching
The gigantic Olympic Stadium.
Through my life as a sport idiot I've seen hundreds and other hundreds of football games. All over Europe. But nothing can be compared to the World Cup game I saw here in 2006.
Sweden had started the tournament in a really bad style, just getting a 0-0 draw against Trinidad/Tobago in their first game. Having paid 260 euro on the black market for the ticket I was not thrilled...
But me and my friends took our car and went from Dortmund to Berlin to see the second game, against Paraguay. And this time we paid 360 euro for the ticket.
It was a crazy time, with 100 000 Swedish supporters traveling to the German capital, and 55 000 of those somehow having bought tickets for the game. But after 88 minutes we were again down to our knees, since the score still was 0-0.
Then, after 88.05, Fredrik Ljungberg got his head on the ball and nodded us all up in the football heaven! Never again will I feel those emotions again.
A 2-2 draw later against England took us to the play off against Germany, and... let's not talk about that.
Almost five years later I was back at the stadium for another game. This time in the german second division. And another great afternoon.
Hertha Berlin has always been the great time i Berlin, with Union Berlin being the little brother that no one really cares about. Hertha has played in the Champions League, won the German Bundesliga - while Union has been happy playing in the lower divisions.
But now it was time again. Hertha had after huge economical problems been relegated to the second division, while Union like a miracle had reached up to the same level.
My friend Erik got us the tickets next to the Union section and what followed would be a game that the Union supporters will talk about for decades.
2-1 to Union and the home supporters couldn't believe their eyes. It's one of those games I'm really thankful I watched live!
Despite its running track the Olympic Stadium is a really cool arena, with both history and modernity in its walls.
It was built in 1934-1936, on the site of the earlier Olympic Stadium, that was built for the never held Olympic Games in 1916. It was here Jesse Owens made Adolf Hitler very frustrated by winning four gold medals in the Olympic Games in 1936. The stadium area was later one of the few spots in Berlin that wasn't badly injured during the Second World War, only holes from machine guns could be seen.
From 1963 Hertha has played their home games here, and both during the World Cup 1974 and 2006 games have been located here. In 2006 the classic final between Italy and France was held here.
It was also ahead of that tournament that the stadium was restored so that it nowadays looks pretty modern.
Equipment: Hertha Berlin is now back in the first division again. Playing in blue and white it could be a good idea to wear something like that, while it's not a must.
The supporters are quite vocal and it's most of the time a nice atmosphere at the games, even if it can't be compared to some of the really big teams, like Dortmund.
The maximum crowd that can watch a game here now is 74 500. Most games are not sold out, so no problem to buy a ticket on the match day.
Directions: The underground train line U2 takes you directly to the stadium from central town. The same with the above ground train (S-Bahn). Just take S3 or S75 and get off at the station Olympiastadion. 14-22 minutes from central town.
Theme: Sports Watching
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