Friday 20 May 2011

Hamburger SV; Germany

Hamburger SV play in the top flight Bundesliga. I saw them play VfB Stuttgart at their Imtech Arena , to give it the sponsors name, at the end of November. Their old Volkspark Stadium was on approximately the same site, but there is not doubt at all this is a new stadium, which was opened in 2001.

I visited the old ground twice, one coincidentally, also against Stuttgart. The other was the 1988 European Championships semi final, when Germany played Holland. Despite this being a modern venue what it might have lacked in character was made up for by the atmosphere drummed up by the fans.

For some reason, I did not snap a proper picture of the club crest, so to start we have to do with this sign that has it on it.

This picture has nothing to do with the venue, I saw it in the window of a tattoo shop in another part of the city, but thought it would fit in well on this posting.

Rather than wait for the free shuttle buses from Stellingen station to the ground I followed the crowds, who walk along the paths through a wooded area to the stadium. There were some unofficial souvenirs on sale. I bought a 'Scheiss Bayern' one.

Near the station, at the start of the footpath, was this building on the right. The entire walls of it were covered in Hamburger SV mural, I was so impressed a snapped the lot, follwoing on after this first snap, from left to right, as I looked at it.

After looking at them it's time to head to the ground.

Typical old fashioned 'seventies timewarp' German football fashion. There are a few more of these later.

This fan goes for the 'scarves collection' look.

The exterior of the stadium. We are going to head round it, to the left, as my ticket is for a section round the other side.

A map of the ground.

Looking up along the side, as I stroll round.

A matchday police station.

Opposite is the 02 World Arena, home to the Hamburg Freezers ice hockey side, that play in the Elite League.

Here is another look at it, with fans congregating outside, at various food & beer stands.

Through one of the stairwells, to the upper tier of the ground.

Our last glimpse over the road.

Club banners hang down the outer part of the stadium.

This was the gate I came through.

Club pillars in the open outer concourse.

And one for a Kylie concert over the road, not what you expect to see advertised in a football ground.

And a poster for the Club ice hockey team.

The Supporters Club banner.

On the walls, from the inner concourse, there are some supporters murals on the walls. This one was above the pre-match supporters' ultra-type table, with books, DVDs & glossy magazines on sale, of which I bought a few, & it seemed to be run by the Chosen Few group.

Here's another look at the mural, from up above, at half time.

Another wall.

The concourse was busy before kick off.

One of the food concessions inside.

Back outside, but withing the stadium perimeter you walk around, and surprisingly to me, you could mingle with the visiting Stuttgart fans, who brought their own club shop. As they were formed in 1893, & actually my favourite Bundesliga outfit as a result, (even though I was plumping for HSV this afternoon) I bought a scarf & baseball cap, with the year prominent.

The seasonal Gluhwein was also on sale, by mobile sellers.

There were also plenty of foodstalls outside, not busy, because it was only a few minutes to kick off.

One of the programme sellers.

A small home club shop in the concourse. there is a large 'superstore' type one outside, round the other side, but I didn't visit it.

Police horses outside.

Now time to head up the stairs to my section.

I was in the corner of the stadium, a superb view, for a medium priced ticket, which I think, from memory as I'm typing this, was about 34 euros.

The side to my right.

Down the far end, away fans to the right hand corner.

This is a close up of them.

Now turning to the other side, which was the main stand.

Tunnel in the middle, at the front.

Executive boxes, & what looks like press seats.

This is from my seat, turning immediately left. I was in a middle tier, with a standing terraced area down below.

Turning slightly to get another view of the main side.

And back across the stadium, from my seat.

Over my right shoulder, was a section of their hard core Ultras, so I was right by the atmosphere.

The 'ordinary' sections below, & beyond them.

One of the many fan banners.

The 'Chosen Few' area.

Note the man immediately to the right of the big flag, with the megaphone, who was co-ordinating the chanting.

A Stuttgart player about to get a red card, in the first half.

The electronic scoreboard, at the other end.

A bit blurred, but there's the card on show.

A little bit of action, down the far end.

The scoreboard screams 'goal!'

Another look over the pitch & stands.

The goal at my end, with the club emblem on them.

Half time, with assorted sponsors banners on the pitch.

During the break I move up to the sections behind me, to look down.

Higher up, to the left once more.

And to the right, I'm almost at the back row.

These upper areas at this end, in my corner, are seated, by they fold up, so can stand if you choose, I guess most people do.

To the left.

The 'Chosen Few' banner.

Another fan flag.

From my corner of the ground we are looking down to the lower section behind the goal. I didn't realise at the time i took this but that is terracing down there, as we shall soon see.

Across my end.

And over to the 'posh side'.

Across the pitch, from high up behind the goal.

To the right, from the same spot.

A famous substitute comes on.

The Ultras sparklers come out.

A little bit of match action.

Wearing the colours in front of me.

The final score on the board.

Home fans celebrate.

As the team come over to show their appreciation.

Seats start to empty.

Down the side as well, while at the corner of the section in front, you can begin to see it is a terrace.

Slowly they are starting to go.

We can see parts of the steps of terrace now.

My sections are thinning out.

A clearer view of the seats along the isde.

And over the stadium.

Just before it's time to go I have a look at the terrace down the front.

Terracing safe in Germany, but not top flight England. Bring them back!

Behind us a running clock proudly informs us how long Hamburg have been in the top flight...they are ever present in the Bundesliga.

From the middle of the terrace we look over the pitch.

One last glance to the right

& eyes to the left, then time to go.

Not before a few more denim jackets.

One last mural too.