Date: 22nd October 2016
Match: Magdeburg - Chemnitz 2-4 (3. Liga)
Attendance: 17 700
22 October is my birthday and with that being a Saturday I decided to treat myself with a weekend abroad. At first I was looking at going to Italy for AC Milan v Juventus but in the end I decided to spend the weekend in Germany. At 19.50, 10 minutes delayed, on Friday evening my Air Berlin flight left Copenhagen airport and an hour later I was at Tegel airport in Berlin. The airport is old and out-dated but with the new airport still not being ready (it was to supposed to open three years ago) Tegel has a few years left as a major airport. Tegel is situated close to the city centre and after a 20-minute bus journey I was outside Berlin Hbf. My hotel was then only a 5-minute walk away and at 21.45 I was in room. Everything had gone according to my plans and I was looking forward to my weekend in Germany.
Having heard many positive comments about the atmosphere in Magdeburg the club has been on my “to do” list for a while. I decided a home game against Chemnitzer FC, a fellow East German side, was an interesting enough game to finally visit Magdeburg. From Berlin it took me 1 h 40 min with a regional train to reach Magdeburg. Since I wanted to do some sightseeing in Magdeburg before the game (KO 14.00) I left Berlin as early as 09.11. As I arrived I was surprised to notice so many (Magdeburg) fans standing outside the Hbf drinking beer. Anyway, I visited the Hundertwasserhaus as the Dom as I strolled around in the city centre. I also went down to the Elbe river but with clouds and 8-9 degrees the scenery was not exactly breathtaking. Around noon the tram from the city centre had taken me to the stop nearest to the ground. MDCC-Arena, the home of FC Magdeburg, was then a 7-minute walk away. MDCC-Arena was opened in December 2006 and has a capacity of around 26 000. The new ground was built on the site of the old Ernst Grube Stadion. For most games the entire South stand is for away fans or simple empty. That means the actual number of home tickets on sale are around 19 000.
Earlier this week Hannes, a well-known supporter in the Magdeburg Fanszene, died and outside the home end there were many tributes to him. As the game was about to start there was a minute´s silence at MDCC-Arena and to honour their dead friend several flares forming a cross were set off in the home end. During the first 25 minutes of the game the Magdeburg fans were completely silent and I think this was also to honour Hannes. Chemnitz brought around 1 200 fans to Magdeburg this afternoon and they were very vocal throughout the game. 0-1 in the 12th minute and after what looked like a soft penalty it was then 0-2 in the 24th minute. In the second half Chemnitz made it 0-3 but Magdeburg refused to give up and pulled a goal back in the 78th minute. A few minutes later they had a good opportunity to score again but they didn´t and instead Chemnitz made it 1-4 from a counter-attack. The match at MDCC-Arena eventually ended 2-4 and I was quite pleased with my choice to go to Magdeburg. My seat was in a centre block of the side stand but for most of the game I was actually standing up. People in Magdeburg a very passionate about their football club and it was great to see fans of all ages standing up cheering on their team. As I left the ground it was the travelling fans from Chemnitz who were singing though and I am already looking forward to my visit to Chemnitz. At 17.08 my train left Magdeburg Hbf and short before 19.00 I was back in Berlin. Tomorrow I will go to Poststadion, a 10-minute walk from my hotel, but before that I will enjoy a nice dinner in central Berlin.
Outside Magdeburg Hbf
Statue of Heinz Krügel (manager when Magdeburg won the Cup Winners Cup in 1974)
Rear of the northeast corner
Before the match
Pyro cross for Hannes
View of play
View of play
Scarfs are out
Chemnitz fans, after the game