Berlin’s sports teams, who are they and where to watch them.
Winter is almost here, and once Christmas and new year have passed the nights get longer, everything is darker and colder and Berlin can seem like a lonely place but don’t fear there are sports events throughout the winter to keep you occupied and warm. If you have had enough of sitting inside and watching sports through the bottom of your glass on a big screen and would prefer to wrap up warm, get your colours on and actually get out there and attend a game then here are a few options in Germany’s capital.
Hertha are Berlins most famous sports team. Currently sitting high up in the Bundesliga table, Berlins main football team play at the wonderful Olympic stadium built for the infamous 1936 games. The club was originally founded way back in 1892 and named after a boat called Hertha that one of the 4 founding members of the club had taken a trip on.
Sadly the club hasn’t enjoyed too much success over the years and has only won the German championship twice in its existence way back in 1930 and 1931. From August until May the club will play every other week at the huge 75,000 seater stadium, there is a great club shop for you to check out their blue and white merchandise, events during match days and personally I would recommend getting here early to take a look around the amazing Olympic village. This place is packed with history.
Normally tickets go for €15-50 and can be purchased at ticket shops in the city, out at the stadium or on their website. Check out their page for up to date information.
”HA, HO, HE Hertha BSC”
Website: Hertha BSC
Union are Berlin’s second football team and play on the complete opposite side of city. With Berlin’s divided history of course there is a team from the old West of Berlin and one from the East. Politics and sports should never really mix but Union Berlin and its supporters will proudly tell you that they represent the old East of Berlin and still remain a very working class football club.
The club was originally founded back in 1906 but has played under its current name since 1966 and they play there home games over in the Kopenick district of Berlin. Their wonderfully named stadium ‘Stadion An der Alten Försterei’ (Stadium by the old forester’s house) as the name suggests sits in the middle of the forest and got a makeover back in 2008. Union is not a rich club however and as they were struggling for funds for their stadium more than 2,000 Union supporters invested 140,000 working hours to create what is now regarded as the largest football-only stadium in Berlin having a max capacity of 22,000.
The club currently play in the Bundesliga 2 and have done for the previous 7 seasons. The league campaign runs from August to May and tickets can normally be purchased on their website or at the ground itself unless its a sell out which normally only happens a few times a year when they play either Dresden, St Pauli or of course, their cross city rivals Hertha. Check out their websites for the next home game.
Website: FC Union Berlin
Eisbaren Berlin The Eisbaren (polar bears) are Berlin’s most successful sports team. Hertha Berlin and football in general are more popular here but the Eisbaren have been attracting huge crowds for years especially since moving to their new home of the Mercedes Benz arena in 2008 which has a max capacity of 14,200.
The club was originally founded in 1954 when Berlin was divided and the old team, based in the East, won 15 league championships but since reunification the Eisbaren have become Germany’s and one of Europe’s most successful teams winning 7 championships in the last 10 years and the European trophy in 2010.
The club was originally founded as a branch of the East German Stasi (secret police) sports department and so their old records are somewhat questionable especially as in 1971 the East German Ice hockey league was reduced to only 2 teams, the smallest ice hockey league in the world!
The season runs from August to March and tickets can be purchased for as little as 14euro on the teams website, at the stadium or at all good ticket sellers.
The Albatrosses are Berlins biggest basketball team and according to membership numbers are the biggest team in Germany as well as the most successful after winning 8 league championships even though the club was only founded in 1989.
They are also the only German team ever to beat a reigning NBA champion when they beat the San Antonio Spurs in 2014.
The team currently play at the Mercedes Benz Arena sharing the space with Berlin’s ice hockey team and the season runs from October to May and tickets can be purchased from 10 euro for the cheapest to €70 for a court-side seats. Check out their website for more details.
Website: Alba Berlin