Football in Munich

Red vs blue: Munich and football

FC Bayern Munich is one of the most famous football teams in the world. Not quite as successful is Munich's second club, TSV 1860 Munich. Nevertheless, the rivalry in the city is huge.

Munich and its teams! Football has a long history in the Bavarian capital: At the beginning of the 20th century TSV 1860 Munich (also known as the “60s”) used to play back in Holzapfelkreuth near the Waldfriedhof woodland cemetery. Meanwhile, FC Bayern was playing in straw hats in Schwabing, not far from Leopoldstrasse. Under Kurt Landauer, who is still the longest serving FCB President, the team found itself the subject of harassment by the National Socialists.

The stadium on Grünwalder Strasse was completed in 1925. It survived the Second World War, an arson attack in 1971 and a windstorm in 1972. In 2012, a 225 kg aircraft bomb was even discovered just 1.5 metres below the grass in the penalty box. The first game under artificial lights took place over 60 years ago, when the team borrowed spotlights from the Bavaria Film company.

The 1972 Olympic Games turned out to be a huge stroke of luck for Munich’s football teams. The Olympic stadium built especially for the Games became the home of FC Bayern for over thirty years – though they did have to put up with a few niggles. A wind that seemed to blow through the stadium but nowhere else left the crowd shivering and swept away journalists’ notes. Nevertheless – but quite rightly – respondents in a survey conducted in 2000 selected the stadium as one of the five most important buildings built in Germany after the Second World War. Real grass has been growing in the Olympic stadium again since May 2017 though it is now only used for small-scale football tournaments.

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In the next ten years, these two footballing meccas will turn 100 and 50 years old respectively. If you feel like reminiscing about the days when pro footballers would tread the pitch here, then it's definitely worth a visit. Regular guided tours of the Olympic Park have been available for a long time.

Although once iconic teams like FC Wacker Munich, Spielvereinigung Unterhaching and TSV 1860 Munich have failed to maintain their former glories, there’s no doubt that football is thriving in Munich! So often repeated that they are practically tradition, FC Bayern’s championship celebrations on Marienplatz attract crowds of over 15,000.

The Allianz Arena can hold up to 75,000 spectators. It is normally lit up in red, the team colour of FC Bayern. On special occasions, however, its 300,000 LEDs are also used to create a wide array of motifs and effects, ranging from rainbow colours to black, red and gold.

Guided arena tours, which provide guests with a glimpse of the team changing rooms and players’ tunnel, and a trip to the FC Bayern museum are always a special experience. Unlike more traditional football museums, the FC Bayern Erlebniswelt (FC Bayern world of experience) not only includes countless impressive items, including trophies, shoes and kits worn by major Bayern stars of past and present, it also uses several multimedia and interactive elements to bring some of the most exciting and emotional moments in the club’s history to life.

 

 

Text: München Tourismus; Photos: istock/ferar, Olympiapark München, Frank Stolle