Allianz meine Liebe; endlich haben wir uns getroffen!
by Heidi Obermeyer
Spring is evolving into summer here in Munich and with it has come a new development in my life- spending most of my free time outside! During the winter here it was very difficult to get motivated to get outdoors (especially because it was so cloudy in combination with the cold), but for the last few weeks it’s been gloriously sunny. I pack two things when I leave for class now- my schoolwork and a towel so I can go straight from the Uni (as we so affectionately call the university here) to the Englischer Garten, where I and a few of my friends have made a habit of reading, chatting and lazing about whenever we get the chance. This whole being-outside-thing has meant less computer time, and hence… less blogging! But here I am again to tell you about my latest expedition, which this time was up to Allianz Arena to see FC Bayern play!
As some of you may know, Bayern just got done playing in the European Champion’s League Final, in the first game in the history of the association in which one of the teams in the final would be playing in their home stadium (Allianz). Bayern lost in a heartbreaking shootout against Chelsea, which I watched with a reasonably sized crowd at the apartment complex’s bar/restaurant. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen tears as depressing as the ones rolling down the cheeks of grown men as they watched their beloved Bayern fall… in the FINAL…. at home. During the semifinal match Bayern fans held up a banner reading “Finale Dahoam!”, or “Final at home!” in Bavarian dialect. Sadly for FC Bayern, the Finale Dahoam turned out to be a shocked night of silence for Munich residents, while the visiting Chelsea fans likely had the bars to themselves to celebrate their team’s victory.
Anyway, the Eurocup is coming up in Poland and Bayern had one last random game scheduled before it starts, against the Dutch national team for some reason. Serious Fußball fans here in Bavaria, as well as most of the Bayern team for that matter, have little interest in watching the team play a game that doesn’t matter in the greater scheme of the sport, which opens up a bunch of seats for us casual viewers! Tickets for the match were only 22.50 Euro instead of their usual 60-70- it was game on!
Allianz is only 3 subway stops away from my apartment, so it was just a quick ride in a pretty full train up to the stadium. The walk from the train to your seat is actually pretty far- probably over a kilometer- but the atmosphere is fun and it’s cool to see what all the other, more committed fans are wearing.
I wore my FC Bayern Champion’s League Final shirt. That might have been rubbing salt on the wound for a few fans, but my fair-weather fan commitment runs deeper than one measly final. Anyway, the stadium is beautiful inside! It’s always interesting to see how different stadiums look from each other, even though they’re all the exact same thing.
Our section wasn’t sold out, or even very sold at all, so we had a pretty good amount of space to spread out among our group. The cheap ticket prices also brought out the younger Bayern fans and their parents, and these little boys were very enthusiastically waving their flags for the home team for a good chunk of the game.
Munich has 6 (?) major breweries, one of which is Paulaner. It’s pretty fantastic to be able to get a really high-quality brew at a sporting event, and still for just 4 Euro! I’m frowning at you, Coors Field $7 beers.
Once the game let out (We won of course! 2-3), we were a little worried about how long it was going to take for us to get an ubahn- that’s a massive amount of people to go put on the train at once! Luckily we were distracted by how cool Allianz looks at night- they light it up red or blue for whichever Munich team is playing there on a given evening. It was red for FC Bayern while we were there 🙂
As you get further away, the impressiveness of the structure really comes to life. It’s like a bubbly, sporty, modern… thing. Very German.
Getting home ending up being no problem- they send out trains every 5 minutes after games- and I would definitely recommend going to a soccer match in Europe if one’s schedule allows. I had a really good time and I’m glad I got to see Bayern in action without breaking the bank for a sold out stadium.