Ground: Coface Arena
Date: 4th November 2011
Match: Mainz - Stuttgart 3-1 (Bundesliga)
Attendance: 34 000
When I visited Saarbrücken in August I found out there are direct trains from Frankfurt to Paris. Since Mainz were playing Stuttgart this weekend (and Mainz is close to Frankfurt) I was very pleased when DFB confirmed the fixtures, Mainz vs Stuttgart on Friday evening. My day started in Paris and at 9.09 the train left Paris Gare Est, 3h 50 min later we rolled into Frankfurt Hbf. I decided to use the same hotel as I did last time was in Frankfurt. Europa Style Hotel is only a 5 minute walk from Frankfurt Hbf and with a free mini-bar this is a good place to stay at. I spent the afternoon in an Italian restaurant and a nearby internet café before heading back to my hotel for a short rest. Mainz is a 40 minute journey with S-bahn from Frankfurt and by 6pm I was at Mainz Hbf. Since Coface Arena is in the middle of nowhere there are shuttle buses taking fans to the new home of FSV Mainz 05.
Coface Arena was opened in July 2011, replacing the old Stadion am Bruchweg, and has a capacity of 34 000. I like this ground. It is intimate and compact without being a boring bowl. The home end is a big terrace and a small section of the away end is terracing as well. From the shuttle stop it was a 7 minute walk and once at the ground I met up with Stuttgart fan Jonas (www.groundchecker.de). We met earlier this year when I was in Stuttgart. For this match he was not in the away end though. After picking up my ticket I went inside to take some pictures. My seat was in the main stand but a little bit too off the centre for my liking. As I said earlier I like this ground, it feels like a smaller version of Rhein-Energie Stadion in Köln.
When the actual match started nothing much happened in the 1st half. 0-0 at half-time. The 2nd half was much better. Stuttgart took the lead but Mainz equalised soon after. Mainz then scored from a soft penalty to make it 2-1 before scoring again, 3-1 and the Stuttgart defense was by now in shambles. The home team had a player sent off but managed to hold on to a 3-1 victory. When I met Jonas after the match he was a bit disappointed but there is always a new match next weekend. There were plenty of shuttle buses waiting and I could board one without having to wait. 10 minutes later I was back at Mainz Hbf. I was at my hotel in Frankfurt before midnight and after an exciting day I soon fell asleep.
Coface Arena at night
View of play