A Match at the Olympiastadion

Why did you write that???

-Calli, Sept 13/13

The streak is over. Calli asked me why I jinxed our streak at the end of the Iceland Football Match post, but I had no response. Hertha BSC lost to Stuttgart and we have a blemish on our once-perfect record. But more on that later.

We were excited to have tickets to see a Hertha BSC match during our stay in Berlin this time around. Not only were we looking forward to another Bundesliga match (after our very enjoyable one in Wolfsburg last December), but we were also excited about the prospect of watching a match in the Berlin Olympic Stadium. Very rarely do you have the chance to see a sporting event in such a storied place. The stadium has survived a World War and hosted the Summer Olympics and 2 World Cups. It is the place where Jesse Owens won 4 gold medals in front of Adolf Hitler, the place where the Olympic torch relay was invented, and the place where Zidane’s infamous headbutt occurred.

Olympic Stadium - Berlin - 1936 Olympic Stadium - Berlin - HBF

With all that in mind we eagerly joined over 50,000 excited Berliners to watch Hertha BSC take on Stuttgart. Upon exiting the U-bahn, we were immediately taken aback by the sheer number of people. People laden in blue and white were drinking and singing as the marched on towards the stadium. A vendor selling scarves laughingly mocked some Stuttgart fans walking among us by pretending to burn some Stuttgart scarves he had for sale. Pretty standard stuff in Germany I’m sure.

We grabbed our tickets and found our gate. Then it was time for beer and pretzels. Obviously. Two half-litre beers and two pretzels cost us about $10 and we found our way to our seat. The massive section of fans in the ostkurve were already there making their presence known. Easily the largest stadium we’ve ever been to (capacity is around 76,500) it slowly began to fill. By kickoff, all but the sections surrounding the Stuttgart fans were full.

hertha3To be perfectly honest, the spectacle itself was more exciting than the game. Stuttgart scored early in the second half, and their keeper made save after save to squeak them out a 1-0 victory. This ended our undefeated streak of games dating back to last trip.

hertha1 hertha2We are going to be headed back to the Olympiastadion as part of our tour with ViveBerlin, and are excited to hear (and then share with you) even more of the fascinating history of the building. In the meantime here are two videos to give you an idea of the size and the noise there!

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