FC Nuremberg - The Easy Credit Stadion - Capacity: 46,780 (38,980 Seats)
The Stadium – The Easy Credit Stadion Max Morlock Platz 1, Nuremberg 90480 The Frankenstadion is not a new stadium, like Munich, Gelsenkirchen or Leipzig, nor has it been completely redeveloped like the RheinEnergie stadium in Köln, the Olympiastadion in Berlin or the AOL Arena in Hamburg. It has had a general overhaul, but in principle looks and feels the same as it has done for years. The redevelopment work in 2004 saw over 5,000 seats added, specifically for VIP’s and Executive boxes.
However, it does offer a unique stadium in terms of look. It has three interconnected stands which are divided into three straight sections behind each goal, as opposed to the traditional curves. On the final side of the ground, the two tier main stand is not joined up to the other ends. From the air the ground has a hexagonal look.
The stadium was originally designed and built between 1926 and 1928 and known simply as the Municipal stadium. It was redesigned by Albert Speer, Adolf Hitler’s personal architect to form a focal point in the Zepplienfeld area. The whole area was designed to be a monument for celebrating the strength and power of the Nazi party, especially as a marching ground for the Hitler Youth movement. After the fall of the Nazi party in 1945, the stadium was used by the US allied forces as a sports ground. It was then completely redeveloped in the early 1960’s, in order to meet the regulations of the new Bundesliga.
It was also once chosen by UEFA in 1967 to hold the Cup Winners Cup Final – with neighbours FC Bayern Munich beating Glasgow Rangers 1-0 after extra time. It has also been a regular host to the German national team, the last occasion being the Confederations Cup Semi Final against Brazil in June 2005.
The home team, 1.FC Nuremberg are now entering their second successive season in the Bundesliga, after returning to the top division as champions in 2004. Attendances for their home games are high (average 32,600), with the most fervent fans taking up residence in the west curve. However, the stadium redevelopment has not been without its issues – during safety testing in November 2005 it was found that fans jumping up and down of the upper tier of the North stand caused a 7 centimetre swing – just within acceptable safety standards.
Who Plays There? The name 1.FC Nuremberg is not known in modern times for its success. However, if you wind the clock back to the early 1920’s then there was no bigger club in Germany than Nuremberg. At the time German football was purely amateur in status – although this didn’t deter the ambitious clubs like Nuremberg from “encouraging” players to join them in return for highly paid jobs associated to the club. The early years of the 20th century saw the teams from the East of Germany dominate the German Championships – VfB Leipzig and Viktoria Berlin were two of the early teams to win the cup regularly.
At the time, the league worked on a regional basis with the eventual winners from each region going forward to a playoff with other winners. From 1920 until 1927, FC Nuremberg won this championship 5 times, and shared it with Hamburg in 1922. The team then lost its momentum, with Schalke becoming the team to beat during the 1930’s. One solitary championship win in 1936 broke Schalke’s run of 9 finals in 10 years. Two more wins, in 1948 and 1961 heralded the end of amateur status in Germany, and with the formation of the professional Bundesliga in 1963, Nuremberg were rightly chosen to represent the South region of Germany. Since that inaugural season, the club has just one solitary title, from the 1968 season, and one cup final appearance 1982 when the team lost to their rivals Bayern Munich.
The 1980’s and 90’s saw the club struggling on the pitch despite crowds being at their highest level since the clubs inception in 1900. The club even dropped down to the 2nd level on a number of occasions, although they did tend to bounce back quickly. At the turn of the century, the club managed to consolidate itself in the lower reaches of the top division. However, a 15th finish in 2002 was proceeded by relegation the following season as the team managed just 3 points away from home in their last 10 matches. Again, history repeated itself as the team romped to the 2nd division title by a 5 point margin.
Two seasons of relegation dogfighting have kept the fans interested, although I am sure they will want better fortunes (and better attendances) in 2006/07, although last seasons 8th place finish was better than could have been hoped for at the start of the season.
How to get a ticket for the Easy Credit Stadion Nuremberg’s fans have been consistently voted the most passionate fans in German football, despite their lack of success in decades. They only average 34,000 in the Bundesliga, but ask any visiting supporter which fans do they admire the most the chances are they will say Nuremberg’s. Due to the low average attendance, getting tickets for matches is not as difficult as other stadiums. You can call the Nuremberg ticket hotline on +49 911 940 7979 to check availability or log onto their online shop at http://www.fcn-ticket-service.de. Ticket prices range from €10 to €44.
How to get to the Easy Credit Stadion By far the easiest route to the stadium is to catch an S-Bahn line 2 train from the Hauptbahnhof’s platform 2 direct to the stadium stop – surprisingly named “Frankenstadion”. On match days these trains will run direct to the stadium about every 15 minutes, with a journey time of 5 minutes.
You can also get Tram line 9 to Bayerstrasse, and then walk via Vollofestplatz for the stadium – approximately a 10 minute walk. Finally, Bus 55 runs from the central station to the ground on a regular basis, making the journey in approximately 15 minutes in good traffic.
For a more detailed view on who plays where in Germany, go to Footiemap.com.
Getting around Most of the centre of Nuremberg is perfectly walkable – there are lots of Pedestrian areas, and the inner core of the city contains all of the main sights. The U-Bahn network skirts around the edge of the city and is useful for reaching the outlying areas. A day pass costs €3.60
The small airport is located 7km north of the city. It is mainly used as a base for regional German airlines. It has two terminals with basic services including duty free shops, 2 restaurants, numerous bars and an observation deck. The airport has seen little expansion since it opened fifty years ago. Last year the airport handled over 3 million passengers. Currently the airport can only be reached by Air Berlin from the UK. U-Bahn line 1 runs directly from outside the terminal to the city centre in less than 15 minutes and costs €1.30 single or €3.60 for a day ticket.
Click here for a short video taken in the Frankenstadion.
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