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Darmstadt

Ground: Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor

Visits: 1

Date: 27th October 2015

Match: Darmstadt - Hannover  2-1  (DFB-Pokal)

Attendance: 15 900

 

As in recent years I am free from work, from Tuesday onwards, the last week in October. There are midweek (cup or league) games in several countries and going through my options I decided for Germany. Darmstadt have been promoted to Bundesliga and it is very difficult, not to say impossible, to get tickets for their home games. On Tuesday evening they hosted Hannover 96 in the second round of the DFB-Pokal (German cup) though and knowing season tickets weren´t valid I realized this was my chance to get a ticket for Darmstadt. I was online when tickets went on general sale an bought one without any problems. Once I had my ticket for this game I booked a flight to Frankfurt and as I later got a ticket for Werder Bremen vs Dortmund I knew I had an interesting week looking forward to. At 05.20 on Tuesday morning my alarm buzzed and around 07.30 I was at Copenhagen airport. I had booked a hotel close to Frankfurt Hbf and around 12.30 I was in my room. Being a bit tired I took it easy in the afternoon, only leaving my room to get something to eat.

 

The city of Darmstadt is situated south of Frankfurt and at 17.35 I boarded a RE-train and 20 minutes later I was at Darmstadt Hbf. Stadion am Böllenfalltor, the home of Darmstadt 98, is quite a basic ground and does not in any way look like a modern Bundesliga ground. This has to do with the clubs meteoric rise in recent years. At the end of the 2012/13 Darmstadt were initially relegated from 3. liga to Regionalliga. Offenbach were denied a license though and Darmstadt were reprieved. The following year the club were promoted to 2. Bundesliga and last year the club managed to get promotion to the Bundesliga. 2015/16 is only the third season for Darmstadt in the Bundesliga. The ground is 20 minutes by tram from Darmstadt Hbf and too far away to walk. From 18.00 there was a tram shuttle service every 7-8 minutes to the ground which of course I used. Kick-off this evening was at 20.30 but the turnstiles didn´t open until 19.00, which is quite late for Germany. The queue was almost 100 metres but I managed to get inside early enough to take pictures of the empty stands. My ticket was for the Nordkurve, next to the away section. As the game was about to start the Hannover fans unfolded a banner saying "Wir machen party" and then set off a huge amount of pyros and fireworks. There was literally a barrage of fireworks flying from the section to my left. "Real football fans don´t use pyros" was the message from the PA but to little effect. Anyway, those fireworks were the most interesting thing happening in the first half. Very few chances at 0-0 at half-time.

 

The second half was better but it wasn´t until the 74th minute the first goal was scored, 1-0 to Darmstadt. Huge celebrations but less than a minute later Hannover equalized. Darmstadt scored again though within the next five minutes to make it 2-1. A guy next to me was away buying beer for his friends during these minutes and actually missed all three goals. Darmstadt hold on to their lead and are through to the next tound of the cup. Despite the boring first half this was still a good day out for me. Standing in an open terrace for three hours I was pleased it was a dry evening and I have now ticked-off a "difficult" ground. After the match the trams were lined up outside the ground and I made one without having to wait. I made the 23.05 S-bahn train bringing me back to Frankfurt and at 23.50 I was back in my room. Being very tired I quickly fell asleep.

 

fans, outside

Fans outside the ground

 

east stand

Osttribüne

 

east stand1

Osttribüne

 

südkurve

Südkurve

 

west stand

Haupttribüne

 

nordkurve

Nordkurve

 

east stand2

Osttribüne

 

hannoverfans

Hannover fans

 

pyro

Pyros

 

pyro1

Pyros

 

pyro2

Fireworks

 

darmstadtfans

Darmstadt fans

 

darmstadtfans2

Darmstadt fans

 

avspark

Kick-off

 

spelbild2

View of play

 

südkurve2

Südkurve

 

west stand2

Haupttribüne

 

spelbild

View of play

 

nordkurve3

Nordkurve

 

nordkurve2

Nordkurve

 

smoke

Smoke

 

pano, stadion am böllenfalltor1

Pano

 

pano, stadion am böllenfalltor8

Pano