Stadium Hop #6 – Wildparkstadion
Stadium Name & Club: Wildparkstadion Team: Karlsruher SC
League: 2. Bundesliga
Nickname: KSC / Eurofighter
Colours: Blue and White
Stadium Capacity: 29,699
Date: 12th August 2019
Teams: Karlsruher SC vs Hannover 96 | 2-0
Competition: DFB Pokal
An Overview of Karlsruher SC
Karlsruher SC was established 125 years ago, way back in 1894 under the name of Karlsruher Fussball Club Phönix. Nowadays, it’s the main football club in the city of Karlsruhe. This is situated in the southwestern part of Germany, very close to the France border. The city is known as the ‘fan city’ for the specific reason that all its main streets are running and pointing towards the ring around the Karlsruhe Palace. This certainly is deemed as the most important spot in the city – situated at the very centre of the Karlsruhe.
Interestingly enough, the Karlsruher stadium is situated just a few metres behind the same important building, ‘protected’ by the same ring that protects the palace itself. Now that’s a good way to show its importance, don’t you think?
Karlsruher SC ULTRA1894 – The Atmosphere
German football is beautifully decorated by many famous and wild Ultras groups, and Karlsruher SC certainly is not missing out. The club has got 4 main groups within it, which decided to form a merger under the name ULTRA1894. These are Rheinfire 2002, Wild Boys 2004, Phönix Sons 1999, and the Armata Fidelis 2003. Despite agreeing to merge in 2009, each of these continues to stand independently for its own ideas and values. The merge provided a better chance of communication between these groups, as well as cohesion and organization.
These groups are present in all Karlsruhe SC football games, creating a loud and fanatic atmosphere from behind goal which is marked as N2 on the map below.
What’s the atmosphere like?
As you can see, one word – IMPECCABLE. It’s not just the 90 minutes! The party starts from the very first second that the Ultras get there until they all march out. The stadium is just on fire – sometimes literally! Pints of beers flying from one end of the standing area to the other is not rare to see by any means. The constant jumping of the crowded area sometimes even make the floor tremble. And what about when a goal is scored?
Don’t get dishearted if the game you plan to go is just a regular league game. The game we attended was valid for the 1st round of the DFB Pokal and the atmosphere was terrific!
Around the stadium beside the usual advertising barriers, the pitch is separated from the stands behind the goal by a large (almost invisible) net. This supposedly is there to protect the fans from shots during the game. That’s just absolutely bull! We all know it’s in fact there to protect the players from the supporters, who now spend most of the time climbing up and down the same mentioned net! Crazy!
Hottest Games to Attend at the Karlsruher Stadium
Rivalries in German football are plentiful! Perhaps the hottest games to attend in this case would be against SC Freiburg (Baden-Derby) and against VfB Stuttgart (Baden-Schwaben-Derby), perhaps the latter being the most fierce.
The rivalry between Karlsruher and VfB Stuttgart is not only seen on the pitch or from the stands, but bad blood starts accumulating weeks before this derby. Public trams sprayed with huge graffiti, street fireworks and a large police presence are perhaps some evidence of how big a game between Karlsruhe SC and VfB Stuttgart is!
Getting to the Wildparkstadion
As mentioned earlier, the stadium is in the very centre of the city. One of the closest stops would be Durlacher Tor / KIT-Campus Süd and luckily many of the public trams stop by there. Games normally kick-off in the afternoon which is great as it leaves you some time to explore the city in the morning.
That Pint Before the Game
Worrying about where to find a pint of beer in Germany only means one thing – you still didn’t quite understand the German culture! Beer is more common than water, although not as cheap as similar cultured neighbours like Poland, Slovakia or the Czech Republic.
Beer stands are available all around the stadium. Unlike other European countries, it is allowed to be brought into the stadium. Besides, what would be a goal celebration without throwing a couple of pints?
Match Tickets and Where to Sit at the Wildparkstadion?
Tickets can be easily bought online through their official website, easiest being using the print@home option. If plans are made last-minute, tickets can also be bought from the KSC Fan Shop or the Ticket-box on matchday.
The cheapest fare would go to sectors N1, N2 and N3 on the west side of the stadium at around €15 per person. This is by far the most popular and lively area of the stadium as this is where the Ultras groups stay and perform their choreography. It’s hectic! This covered sector of the stadium is a standing area meaning the only time you’ll get to sit down is during half-time. That is if the team is not like two-nil up – if that’s the case prepare for 15-minutes of singing, shouting, beer throwing and constantly jumping up and down. The price goes up (around €35 per person) for the southern enclosure which is both seated and covered.
These are just standard prices and may be increased/decreased depending on factors like competition and the away team.
Karlsruher Stadium Fan Shop
Besides the online shop, the Karlsruhe SC official fan shop is situated within the Wildparkstadion itself. This makes it much easier to grab that blue scarf that will surely help fit in much more with the crowd. They might even think you’re local!