Updated: Oct 9, 2018
My next stop saw me taking the 15 minute journey from the centre of Frankfurt to the Waldstadion or the Commerzbank Arena as it is also known, Named after one of the many banks based in the city.
This time i did not have a ticket secured so when arriving at the Stadiums station i headed swiftly for the ticket office, Again similar to many modern German grounds the Waldstadion is based outside the centre of the city in a forest like area, Thankfully this provided cover from the torrential downpour that had started 5 minutes prior to my arrival at the stadium.
Arriving at the ticket office i selected the area where i was keen to sit, area 36 of the old school terracing that is located behind the goal housing Ultras Frankfurt and the many other groups of active fans in the Frankfurt scene. Again my ticket was just €17 to watch two teams currently within European competitions, an obvious benefit of fan ownership prices we could only dream of at Celtic. I had arrived almost two hours early and yet there was already thousands of supporters making their way into the stadium, something you would never see in Glasgow, the availability of beer (This time alcoholic) in the stadium is of course the major factor, I bought a beer costing €6, €2 of which is refunded once you return the Eintracht printed plastic pint or it can be used throughout and topped up for €4.
The Ultras were collecting for their Choreo against Lazio on 4th October i gave €2 from which you can then take a paper like magazine which contains a basic write up of Eintrachts matches within the previous weeks, Information on previous actions and protests from the groups as well as the results of teams the Ultras have friendships with. The back page contained a list of rules that must be adhered to by everyone within the curve,These were also stuck to the walls surrounding the entrance to the terracing area of the Stadium, The rules included no pictures or videos, giving your all for 90 minutes and the intolerance of drunk and disorderly behaviour, the last of which i cant see working in Glasgow.
Although i took my place upon the terracing almost an hour before kick off it was almost full, Impressive for a 6:30pm kick off on a rainy Sunday evening. As the energy drink franchise emerged from the tunnel they were aggressively boo'ed by the whole stadium, like Dietmar Hopp & Hoffenheim RB Leipzig Symbolise everything that the majority of German supporters hate about the modern game. The season prior saw protests against Celtics Europa league rivals in almost every game, However todays protests were centred against the DFB (The German football association) and their bid for the 2024 Euro competition which they were recently granted. As the teams emerged a large message banner was unfurled by the Ultras which translated as 'Europe you are being hosted by corrupt bastards' Stemming from the break down in dialogue between the DFB and fan associations across Germany, the groups want to see an end to collective bans, ensure the 50+1 rule remains and 300km cap on midweek games to name just a few.
Eintracht started the game well mounting pressure on Leipzig in which they were rewarded with a goal half way through the first half, however this pressure did not persist and Eintracht allowed Leipzig to get into the game, and 5 minutes into the second half Leipzig were given a penalty which was put into the back of the net by Forsberg. Leipzig continued to dominate and Timo Werner should of put them ahead however missed to the shock of the rest of the stadium. The match finished 1-1 as like the match the day before.
In the stands the Ultras were consistent, organised and loud, They involved the rest of the stadium regularly and ensured all materials were being used at all times. The Fan scene at Frankfurt is notoriously one of the best in Germany, influenced by the many cultures that you will find in the city, They commonly have impressive tifos and recently travelled in large numbers to their Europa league game in Marseille even though the game was to be played behind closed doors as well as the French authorities putting a ban in place, prohibiting the support of Eintracht entering the city.
My experience however was nothing special although taking all things into consideration, The Sunday at 6:30pm kick off and the torrential rain i wasn't realistically going to find the electric atmosphere i was looking for.
Living in the city will allow a return to the Waldstadion and hopefully to experience a memorable European night. Onwards to my next game and another experience of German football.