Date: 5th August 2011
Match: Saarbrücken - Carl Zeiss Jena 2-1 (3. Liga)
Attendance: 5 141
Day 5 of my tour started in Basel, Switzerland. I returned to my hotel by midnight the previous evening after a day-trip to Thun. I had to get up by 7.30 this morning though and for the first time this week I felt really tired. My first train journey of the day went to to Frankfurt where I was to stay for two nights. After checking in I then went back to Frankfurt Hbf for my train to Saarbrücken. Saarbrücken is next to the French border and next stop was actually Paris. As I arrived there was heavy rain coming down. Since I planned to walk around in the city centre, I arrived 3,5 hours prior to kick-off, this was bad news for me. I managed to find an internet café though and could kill more than an hour there. I then made a mini-tour of the city before heading towards the ground.
Some of my German friends had told me there would be a lot of police at this match, walking pass the train station I could notice that was an understatement. Last year Carl Zeiss Jena lost at home to Saarbrücken and some home fans then attacked the few Saarbrücken fans present. I actually think there were more police than away fans at tonight´s match. Ludwigsparkstadion is one of few remaining old style German football grounds. It has running tracks and open terraces in both curves. When I entered the ground it was striking how big the ground felt. It has a capacity of 35 000 nowdays but for most matches the attendacne is 5-7 000. I would describe it as a big, ugly relic of the past. It is a fantastic stadium for groundhoppers to visit though! For those going every week I can understand why it feels necessary for Saarbrücken to have a new, modern stadium.
Since it had been raining I decided to sit under roof in the main stand. From there I had a good view of the pitch aswell as both fan groups. Even if the attendance was only 5 141 there was a decent atmosphere inside Ludwigsparkstadion. The 200 or so Jena fans never stopped singing and the home fans in the East curve were vocal too. Jena scored the first goal but Saarbrücken were the better team and won the match 2-1. Saarbrücken hit the post twice as well and deserved to win. On the way back to the train station there was a wall of green riot police blocking access to the away section, probably for the best.
Police outside the ground
Fans having a Bratwurst
View of play
View of play