Ground: Audi Sportpark
Date: 9th April 2017
Match: Ingolstadt - Darmstadt 3-2 (Bundesliga)
Attendance: 14 081
The second game on my trip to Germany was Ingolstadt v Darmstadt at Audi Sportpark. Two weeks ago it seemed this was going be a meaningless game. Darmstadt were already relegated and Ingolstadt 10 points from safety. Two wins in five days meant Ingolstadt were within four points of Augsburg and Mainz though. With those clubs losing this weekend Ingolstadt had the chance to close the gap to only one point. Kick-off in Ingolstadt was at 17.30 meaning I could sleep late and fully enjoy a proper German hotel breakfast. For today I had bought a München-Nürnberg Regio ticket for only 20 Euros. With such a ticket I could use as many regional trains as I wanted on this route. At 11.23 my train left München and when several locals had bought the wrong kind of Regio ticket the train conductor took my ticket and showed me what their tickets should look like. You have to do your research! To go to Audi Sportpark you have to use shuttle buses from Ingolstadt Hbf. Since that station is far from the city centre I decided to continue to Ingolstadt Nord though and from there it only took 10-12 minutes to walk to the Altstadt. The city of Ingolstadt is situated in Bayern along the river Donau and has a population of 135 000. The city is of course famous for being the "home" of the car manufacturer Audi. 44 000 people work at the Audi plant in Ingolstadt and Audi of course dominates the city. I spent around 2,5 hours in the city centre and the Altstadt is well worth a visit. The very nice weather as well as having a river floating nearby of course hleps when it comes to get a good impression of a city centre. At 15.20 I boarded a train at Ingolstadt Nord bringing me back to the Hbf and 30 minutes later the shuttle bus arrived at Audi Sportpark. With no traffic the journey time is 13 minutes.
In 2005/06 FC Ingolstadt played in Bayernliga (level 4) but with the help of Audi the club has been promoted several times and 2015 the club reached the Bundesliga for the first time ever. Audi Sportpark was opened in 2010, when the club reached the 2. Bundesliga, and has a capacity of 15 500. With the club winnings two games in a row the optimism was back and for this game home sections were sold-out. The only empty seats in the ground was in the away end but being already relegated that was hardly a surprise. Still a decent away following for Darmstadt though and the ultras did their best to support their team. My seat was in row 16 of the Gegengerade (East Stand) and sitting in the sun this was to be a warm afternoon/evening for me. I could sit in short sleeves throughout the 90 minutes! The game at Audi Sportpark was a very entertaining one. Ingolstadt had several good chances before eventually scoring in the 20th minute. With two goals in six minutes Darmstadt were suddenly 2-1 up though and at half-time the locals could not believe Ingolstadt were not leading. So many wasted chances but that also meant they had to attack in the second half. Really needing three points Ingolstadt threw everything at the Darmstadt goal and in the 68th minute they equalized, 2-2. Four minutes later Ingolstadt scored again to make it 3-2. Darmstadt weren´t good enough to score a third goal and to the delight of the home fans Ingolstadt won 3-2. The game finished at 19.20 but the organisation (with the shuttle buses) was very good and at 19.55 I was back at Ingolstadt Hbf. 15 minutes later I was on my way back to München. In the Bundesliga I now only have Augsburg left to visit and as I don´t want to complete the league with promotion/relegation I hope they will stay up. I was back home in Kristianstad around 13.30 on Monday afternoon. On Wednesday I set off for England for the annual Easter trip!
People enjoying the nice weater
A very long train packed with Audi cars
Audi Sportpark, rear of the Haupttribüne
FC Ingolstadt 04 "Schanzer"
Rear of the Südtribüne
Rear of the Osttribüne
View of play
View of play