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NOVEMBER 2022

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EINTRACHT BRAUNSCHWEIG

Founded: Dec 15, 1895
Club Members: 5,816
Nickname: Die Löwen
Coach: Michael Schiele
Captain: Jasmin Fejzic


German Champions / Bundesliga: 1
3.Liga Champions: 1
Landespokal Niedersachsen Winner: 2


Website: www.eintracht.com

In 1874, a teacher called August Hermann walked onto a playing field at the Martino Katharineum Grammar School in Braunschweig and threw a football towards a group of students. They had absolutely no idea what to do with it and, having only a basic grasp of the rules himself, neither did Hermann - but his 'throw-in' is regarded by historians as 'the moment when football in Germany was born '. Hermann's experiment must have also made a deep impression on his colleague Konrad Koch who published the country's first set of association rules in 1875 and went on to become regarded as a pioneer of the German game. At the time, Germany was dominated by the Prussian ideals of discipline and order; and football was initially viewed with disdain before interest in the new English sport gained traction and young men began kicking leather balls about. The impetus created by progressive men like Hermann and Koch led to clubs being set up across the country and on 15th December 1895, Braunschweig - 'The Birthplace of German Football' - got one too when a local engineer by the name of Karl Schaper formed FuCC Eintracht 1895 Braunschweig.

After becoming one of the 86 founder members of the DFB (German FA) on 28th January 1900, the club spent their early years going through mergers and name changes whilst achieving a degree of success in local and regional championships - winning the Duchy of Braunschweig Championship in 1904 before lifting the North German Championship title in 1908 and 1913. After moving into the Eintracht Stadion in 1923, quickfire Kriesliga Süd titles followed in 1924 and 1925 before the club joined the top-flight Gauliga Niedersachsen in 1933 when German football was restructured following the Nazi rise to power. As the war turned against Germany however; player shortages and travel problems meant that clubs were forced to play their matches closer to home and the Gauliga Braunschweig Südhannover division was formed in 1942. Eintracht became its inaugural champions with a tour-de-force campaign that saw them bag 146 goals and they entered the national championships as one of the favourites for the title. Unfortunately for them, so did Dresdner SC who met the men from Lower Saxony in the early rounds and gave them a 4-0 mauling en route to becoming German champions for the first time. 

The Allies brought Hitler's 'Thousand Year Reich' to an end in 1945 and introduced a policy of de-Nazification in occupied Germany which forced all sports clubs to disband. Eintracht duly reformed later that year as TSV Braunschweig before becoming a founder member of the Oberliga Nord and playing in both editions of the short-lived British Occupation Zone Football Championship in 1947 and 1948. On 1st April 1949, the club was renamed 'Braunschweiger TSV Eintracht von 1895' (Eintracht Braunschweig) before tragedy struck when goalkeeper Gustav Fähland died of internal bleeding a few days after colliding with a Werder Bremen striker in an Oberliga Nord match.

In 1963, the German FA (DFB) were busy deciding which sixteen teams would form the inaugural Bundesliga which would bring all the regional Oberligen  together in one nationwide professional league. Three clubs from the Oberliga Nord would be chosen and after Hamburger SV and SV Werder Bremen were given their entries; having satisfied all the qualifying criteria, officials at Hannover 96 were confident of securing the final berth. On 6th May 1963 however the DFB announced that Eintracht would be given the nod instead despite the fact that Hannover had the bigger stadium, the higher average attendances, met all the financial prerequisites and ranked higher than Braunschweig in the DFB's twelve-year performance ranking. Hannover were incensed and, suspecting that Eintracht's president Dr. Kurt Hopert had pulled some strings with his contacts at the DFB, launched an ultimately unsuccessful appeal against the less than transparent decision to award their rivals a Bundesliga licence. 


Eintracht shrugged off the controversy surrounding their entry and for three years, despite being perennial relegation candidates, survived in the division as coach Helmuth Johannsen coaxed slightly above-average performances from a slightly below-average team. During a friendly against Dukla Prague in 1966 however, Johannsen tried something different and taking inspiration from Helenio Herrera's all-conquering 'Grande ' Inter Milan side of the time, played his captain Joachim Bäse as a Libero (sweeper). It was a tactical switch that changed the direction of German football and influenced a whole new generation of players including Franz Beckenbauer, Klaus Augenthaler, Lothar Matthäus and Matthias Sammer. Suddenly much greater than the sum of their parts, Eintracht sensationally brought the Bundesliga title to Braunschweig in 1967 and 100,000 fans packed the city centre to celebrate the most unlikeliest of achievements. The following season saw Braunschweig play in Europe for the first time with many again underestimating the Lower Saxons and fearing an embarrassment for German football. Not for the first time however, Eintracht defied expectations and progressed to the European Cup quarter-finals where they met Italian giants Juventus. The Germans took a 3-2 lead from the first leg with them to Turin and only an 88th minute penalty from Giancarlo Bercellino to level the aggregate score kept Juve  in the competition. In the days before penalty shoot-outs, a play-off to decide the tie took place in Bern's Wankdorf Stadium and was won by the Italians 1-0, courtesy of a goal by Roger Magnusson.

Eintracht were enjoying a golden period in their history but tragedy struck the club again during the 1968-69 winter break when Jürgen Moll - a member of the Bundesliga winning team - was killed in a car crash along with his wife as they returned from holiday. On 14th April 1969, 21,000 packed the Eintracht Stadion to see West Germany's 1954 'Miracle of Bern' World Cup winners play Eintracht Braunschweig before an Eintracht/Hannover 96 XI took on a Bundesliga XI in two charity matches organised for the benefit of the Molls' children.

 

Helmuth Johannsen left in 1970 to take over the reigns up the road at Hannover 96, and Eintracht's new coach Otto Knefler found his first season in charge of Die Löwen  (The Lions) mired in controversy as the club became embroiled in the Bundesligaskandal at the end of the 1970-71 season. An investigation by the DFB's chief prosecutor, Hans Kindermann, found that Eintracht's involvement in the match-fixing scandal centred around a DM 170 000 bonus that captain Lothar Ulsaß had negotiated with Arminia Bielefeld owner Rupert Schreiner before a match with Rot Weiß Oberhausen - Arminia's rivals in that season's relegation battle. The game ended 1-1 and Schreiner initially reneged on the deal insisting that the money was for victory, not a draw before handing over DM 40,000 when confronted by Eintracht player Max Lorenz who'd been sent to collect the money on behalf of his team. As many as 50 players, managers and officials from clubs across the country were implicated and in addition to Ulsaß and Lorenz; 14 Eintracht players received fines or suspensions. Schreiner's Arminia also had their Bundesliga licence revoked and were demoted to the Regionalliga - although this didn't come into effect until the end of the following season due to the length of time it took Kindermann and the DFB to investigate the whole sorry affair.

Foreshadowing the modern-day transition of football from sport to business, Eintracht realised the potential benefits of commercialism in the game and their match against FC Schalke 04 on 24th March 1973 became the first in the Bundesliga to feature shirt sponsorship after agreeing a DM 100,000 deal with Jägermeister. The DFB immediately opposed the arrangement having banned shirt sponsors when Wormatia Worms had similar ideas about using footballers as mobile advertising hoardings in 1967 and began a long running dispute with Jägermeister tycoon Günter Mast over the issue. In the end, Mast circumvented the ban by simply replacing the Lion on Eintracht's club badge with the herbal liqueur company's Deer Head emblem - a move the DFB had no answer to. He ran into sterner opposition from both the DFB and Eintracht fans though when he floated the idea of renaming the club 'Jägermeister Braunschweig' in 1983.   

Back on the field, Eintracht narrowly missed out on having their name etched into the sterling silver of the Meisterschale  for a second time in 1977 after finishing a point adrift of champions Borussia Mönchengladbach and being pushed into third place on goal difference by FC Schalke 04. Having come so close to glory, they looked to strengthen the team and made headlines by paying DM 1.6 million to bring German World Cup winner Paul Breitner to the club from Real Madrid. After the bright lights of the Spanish capital however, the wolverine defender didn't settle in provincial Braunschweig and having likened the club to “a village shop where everyone just gibbers about horses and apples ”, headed off to join Bayern München after just one season in Lower Saxony. 

Breitner's departure seemed to signal the end of Eintracht's heyday and by the time the 70s gave way to the 80s the club had been relegated to the second tier. Financial pressures were also building after banking on long-term Bundesliga survival to pay for expensive stadium renovations and with the DFB threatening to revoke Eintracht's playing licence, Braunschweig city council stepped forward to clear the club's DM 11.9 million debts.

The problems developing on and off the pitch were put into perspective in March 1983 however when midfielder Lutz Eigendorf was killed in a car crash after a night out at a local bar. Police reports attributed the accident to drink driving but suspicions arose on account of the fact that Eigendorf had made an enemy of a powerful man. Erich Mielke was the infamous head of East Germany's secret police and president of BFC Dynamo who went on to tower over East German football amidst widespread rumours of bribery, doping and corruption. Dynamo's star player was Eigendorf but in 1979 he fled to the West where he played for 1.FC Kaiserslautern before moving on to Eintracht Braunschweig in 1982, often criticising the GDR regime in interviews. Mielke had reportedly taken Eigendorf's defection as a personal affront and with spies sent west to track him, conspiracy theories continue to swirl that the player was a victim of a Stasi  plot to assassinate the 'traitor'. 

Following the upheaval during the first part of the decade, it was no surprise when Eintracht were relegated from the Bundesliga again in 1985 and they spent the next 20 years bouncing between Bundesliga.2 and the third-tier Regionalliga Nord. 2008 saw the creation of the 3.Liga as the lowest professional division in Germany and as part of the league restructure, a 10th place Regionalliga Nord finish or better would have been enough to see Eintracht 'promoted'. With the club once again on the brink of financial disaster, struggles off the pitch were mirroring those on it and after a disappointing start to the season, the appointment of youth team coach Torsten Lieberknecht as manager came just in time to see them secure that elusive 10th place and avoid playing fourth-tier football for the first time in their history.

Retaining the club's professional status seemed to liberate Eintracht on the pitch and as the storm clouds lifted they began a resurgence that saw them climb back into the second-tier after winning the 3.Liga title in 2011. Two years later, after an absence of 28 years, Eintracht returned to the Bundesliga for a single-season cameo before chaos and disorder characterised another tumble down the leagues. Today, they're back in Bundesliga.2 and their passionate following will hope that it isn't too long before Die Löwen roar back to life in the Bundesliga and prove that if any club is capable of overcoming adversity and triumphing against the odds - it's Eintracht Braunschweig.

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 GROUND DETAILS 

Ground Name: Eintracht Stadion
Built: 1922 - 1923

Year Opened: 1923
Renovations: 1950, 1963 - 1964, 1976, 1995, 2009 - 2010, 2011 - 2013

Capacity: 23,325 (10,675 standing)
Executive Boxes: 20
Wheelchair Spaces: 60
Construction Costs: €13.5m

Undersoil Heating: Yes

Running Track: Yes
Floodlights: 1,600 lux
LED Video Screens: 2

Playing Surface: Natural Grass

Pitch Size: 105m x 68m

Website: www.eintracht-stadion.com


Grounds:
Leonhardplatz (1895 - 1897)
Kleine Exerzierplatz (1897 - 1905)

Helmstedter Straße (1905 - 1923) +

Eintracht Stadion (1923 - 1982)
Städtisches Stadion (1982 - 2008) * ^

Eintracht Stadion (2008 - ) *
* Stadium Renamed
+ Sportplatz an der Helmstedter Straße
^ Städtisches Stadion an der Hamburger Straße

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Built to replace Braunschweig's Sportplatz an der Helmstedter Straße home which had quickly become too small for the club's growing support, the Eintracht Stadion opened on 17th June 1923 with a match against 1.FC Nürnberg (who underlined their status as the dominant team of the era by thrashing the hosts 1-10) and, because the club had secured funding for their new ground in US Dollars, its construction wasn't delayed by the galloping inflation that paralysed the German economy at the time. 

After being used as a military base by the occupying British forces in the immediate aftermath of World War 2, the stadium underwent a complete renovation and according to a reporter from "
Sportmagazin", as many as 50,000 people turned up on Hamburger Straße to see the revamped ground open for the visit of Fritz Walter's 1.FC Kaiserslautern on 13th August 1950. Five years later, 25,000 fans saw Karlsruher SC lift the DFB-Pokal trophy after a 3-2 final victory over Schalke 04 before the stadium became the first in northern Germany to have floodlights installed in 1957. 

Braunschweig surprisingly made the cut when the German FA were deciding which sixteen clubs should form the Bundesliga in 1963 and to comply with the new competition's stadium requirements, the Eintracht Stadion was expanded with a new 10,000 capacity terrace built along the back straight (Gegengerade ) and extra seating added to the main stand, bringing the total capacity close to 40,000.
52 acres of land around the stadium was then bought in 1965 on which the club developed a multi-sport complex including football pitches, hockey and tennis courts. Further development saw a roof and a tier of seating added to the
Gegengerade in 1976 before work to replace the main stand was carried out in 1979.

By the end of the decade however, Eintracht were in the second tier and financial pressures were building after banking on long-term Bundesliga survival to pay for the expensive stadium renovations. In 1981, facing the prospect of Eintracht having their playing licence revoked by the DFB (German FA), the Braunschweig city council stepped in and agreed to pay off the club's DM 11.9 million debt. The rescue package also included ownership of the Eintracht Stadion which was promptly renamed the municipal-sounding 'Stadtisches Stadion an der Hamburger Straße '.   
 
Eintracht's problems weren't behind them though and as the club's on-field fortunes continued to decline during the 1980s, so did the stadium and it fell into such a state of disrepair that by the early 1990s the authorities were putting capacity limits in place and closing parts of the ground including the entire Südkurve. In 1993, the decision was made to give the stadium a new lease of life with the Lower Saxony government adding to a lottery grant to fund a DM 25 million redevelopment which in addition to new floodlights and a scoreboard, saw the dilapidated Südkurve completely rebuilt to create a horseshoe of terracing, and the Gegengerade converted into a covered all-seater stand. 

In 2008, the municipal-owned stadium became known as the Eintracht Stadion again after naming rights were sold to a consortium of club sponsors and further upgrades throughout 2009 - 2010 saw the Nordkurve  given a roof and expanded in a €7.6 million project. Plans to redevelop the main stand had been floated since the mid-2000s, but Eintracht's relegation from Bundesliga.2 in 2007 and the global economic meltdown a year later meant that architects Schulitz + Partner had to wait until 2011 before the work could begin. VIP boxes and a business lounge were added to the revamped main stand along with an impressive glass and steel façade; and the stadium forecourt was also redeveloped with the addition of club offices, a fan shop and restaurant.


Today, the Eintracht Stadion is a fully covered, continuous single-tier sweep around three sides and the word 'BRAUNSCHWEIG ' is spelt out yellow on blue in the Gegengerade seats. The all-seater cantilevered main stand is also a single-tiered affair but slightly larger than the other stands to allow for the press area and a row of executive boxes running along the back. The stadium's sporting duality and the royal blue all-weather running track that rings the pitch sets the Kurves  behind each goal a fair distance from the action and can make it feel more of an athletics venue than a football ground. A couple of video screens suspended from the roof at either end and four towering floodlight pylons peering inquisitively into the oval shaped ground complete the look of the Eintracht Stadion.
 

The Eintracht home end is the fully terraced 9,075 capacity Südkurve (Blocks 5-9) and up to 2,395 away fans are given space in the Nordkurve (Blocks 18-19).

In addition to being home to Die Löwen, the Eintracht Stadion is where Braunschweig-based American Football team New York Lions play their home matches and it hosted the final of the German 'Superbowl' in 1995, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006. It was also the venue for the European 'Superbowl' final in 2002, 2003 and 2015.

Goslarer SC 08 played their Regionalliga Nord matches here in the 2009-10 season as their own S-Arena stadium fell short of the required standard. It's also a concert venue with Joe Cocker and German singer Herbert Grönemeyer having performed here, and often reverts to its track and field use as it did for the German Athletics Championships in 2021.

 BUYING TICKETS 

Ticket Office:
Website: www.ticket-onlineshop.com

Telephone: +49 (0) 180 6121895
Email: ticketing@eintracht.com

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Average Attendance:
2021-2022: 8,998 (3.Liga) *
2020-2021: N/A *

2019-2020: 13,533 (3.Liga) *
2018-2019: 18,047 (3.Liga)
2017-2018: 20,545 (Bundesliga.2)
*
 Season affected by COVID pandemic

Expected Ticket Availability

As one of the first clubs in Germany to embrace the internet, it's a little surprising to find that they haven't gone international by giving their website and online ticket shop an English language option. Google Chrome’s translation feature makes buying tickets very straightforward for non-German speakers but Eintracht have tried to make amends by talking you through the whole process with a helpful video on YouTube. Again, it's all in German but easy enough to follow. Watch it here.

Tickets can also be bought in advance by visiting the fan shop in front of the stadium on Hamburger Straße or from the 'Konzert Kasse' box office on the ground floor of the Schloss Arkaden shopping centre (
Platz am Ritterbrunnen 1, 38100 Braunschweig) in the centre of Braunschweig. There are also a number of other Vorverkaufsstellen (advance sales outlets) in the region and the club provide a list of them here.

You can also call the hotline (
+49 [0] 180 6121895 - €0.20/min. from landlines; max. €0.60/min. from mobiles) but Eintracht point out that only a small number of tickets are made available through this channel and they are reserved mainly for disabled fans and accompanying helpers. If you want to keep it traditional, just present yourself at one of the box offices outside the ground which open about 90 minutes before kick-off - although Eintracht will take an extra €2 off you for buying your ticket on a matchday.

Information about visiting the Eintracht Stadion for fans with disabilities can be found at:
www.bundesliga-reisefuehrer.de 


The club have run an official Secondary Market since the 2014-15 season which allows ticket holders who can't make the game for whatever reason to put their tickets up for re-sale at face value. Schemes like this are designed in part to combat touting and it's been pretty successful with German grounds now largely free of touts hawking tickets at jacked-up prices. More info can be found here.

Eintracht's matches very rarely sell out and so apart from the visits of VfL Wolfsburg, or public enemy No.1 Hannover 96 in the Niedersachsenderby, getting hold of a ticket for an afternoon of football in the 'Blue Yellow Temple' generally isn't an issue.

Damage on the wallet depends on where in the ground you want to watch the action from. Full paying adult tickets in the VW Financial Services Westtribüne will set you back €37 and anywhere between €25-37 in the Osttribüne and Volsbank BraWo Nordkurve stands. It's €16 for a place on the Südkurve terrace.


PLEASE NOTE: All information in this section is subject to change due to COVID regulations. Please refer to the club website for the latest ticket information.

 GETTING THERE & AWAY 

Stadium Address:

Hamburger Straße 210
38112 Braunschweig

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BY CAR:
Heading from the north via the A2 or the south along the A39, join the A391 (Westtangente ) and follow signs to the A392 (Nordtangente ) at the Kreuz Ölper junction. At the end of the A392, turn left onto Hamburger Straße and then after about half-a-mile the Eintracht Stadion will be on your right.

Try to get there early because traffic on matchdays is what is referred to in German as a "Miststück "(Bitch) - especially along the A392. And even when you do make it to the ground, because it's right in the middle of a largely residential area, your next challenge is going to be finding somewhere to park up. Try your luck at the large Schützenplatz car park (Hamburger Straße 63, 38114, Braunschweig) just as you turn off the A392 motorway and it's about a five-minute walk along Hamburger Straße from here to the turnstiles. If that's full, Eintracht have also had a word with the Volkswagen factory next door to the stadium and it's been agreed that fans can use the VW staff / visitor parking lot at Ohefeld (Ohefeld 8, 38112 Braunschweig) about a mile away.


PUBLIC TRANSPORT:
With a valid match ticket, the buses and trains within Zone 40 of the Braunschweiger Verkehrs AG (BSVG) transport network are free to ride around on from three hours before kick-off until close of business that day. From Braunschweig Hauptbahnhof and the city centre, Tram M1 (Direction: Wenden) pulls up right outside the ground at the conveniently named 'Stadion' stop, whilst Tram M2 (Direction: Siegfriedviertel) deposits fans at 'Gesundheitsamt' just around the corner. Extra tram and bus services also run on a matchday. 

WALKING DIRECTIONS:
You can reach the Eintracht Stadion on foot but it's a bit of a hike and will take you about an hour to cover the three miles or so from central Braunschweig. If you fancy the walk and the Wolters isn't having too much of an impact on you, just follow the tram tracks north from the city centre - keeping an eye out for trams M1 and M2 (see above) for reassurance that you're on the right 'track'. After a while you'll start to see bright yellow shirted Braunschweig fans carrying their litre bottles of beer (which we bet will all be put in the correct recycling bin when empty) and be able to follow them the rest of the way to the ground.

 FAN SHOP, MUSEUM & STADIUM TOURS 

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FAN SHOP:
Fanshop am EINTRACHT STADION
 (Hamburger Straße 210, 38112 Braunschweig; 10am-6pm, Tue-Fri; 10am-2pm, Sat; matchdays from three hours before kick-off until one hour after full-time).

A couple of mobile fan shops also set up outside the stadium on a matchday - with one on the forecourt and the other outside Block 10 of the Osttribüne. 


STADIUM TOURS:
Go behind the scenes on one of the monthly 90-minute tours - some of which are led by long-time stadium announcer Stefan Lindstedt who will guide you around nearly every nook and cranny of the Eintracht Stadion including the dressing rooms, players tunnel, dug-outs, mixed zone and VIP areas. You also get a 10% discount to spend in the club shop. General information about the available tours, schedules and prices can be found here.

 FOOD & DRINK OPTIONS 

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With the historic old town within easy reach, many fans head there in search of pub grub and beer before making their way out to the stadium. The Magniviertal  district, behind the Residenz, is packed with bars and restaurants and of course you'll find Irish bars in the city such as The Shamrock on Bohlweg; and The Wild Geese on Görderlinerstraße.

Near the ground and handily located for trams coming from the centre, the SPEKTRUM fan pub is the place to go if you want cheap drinks (Wolters Pils - €1 a bottle) and a free chat with Braunschweig's support about Hannover 96's struggles this term. It's on Rheingoldstraße, right across the road from the Shell petrol garage outside the stadium and opens up four hours before kick-off. Just around the corner, the blue-yellow hustle and bustle and warm-up music of the pre-match party gets going about two hours before kick-off at the 'FanHaus' immediately behind the Südkurve.

And if you don't feel sufficiently supplied after the Spektrum beer and a burnt bratwurst from the FanHaus griddle, then head to Eintracht's 'Wahre Liebe ' (True Love) restaurant which opened on the stadium forecourt in 2013 for a 'Lion Steak' and live football on big screens.

The usual beer and sausage options can also be found at the kiosks inside the ground and Eintracht spare you any stadium-card hassle by letting you pay for everything with cash.

OTHER CLUBS IN THE AREA

BUNDESLIGA: SV Werder Bremen, VfL Wolfsburg

BUNDESLIGA 2: 1.FC Magdeburg, FC Hansa Rostock, FC St. Pauli, Hamburger SV, Hannover 96

3.LIGA: VfB Oldenburg