SPVGG GREUTHER FÜRTH
Founded: Sep 23, 1903
Club Members: 2,628
Nickname: Die Kleeblätter
Coach: Alexander Zorniger
Captain: Branimir Hrgota
German Champions / Bundesliga: 3
Bundesliga.2 Champions: 1
SpVgg Greuther Fürth come from Nuremburg's much smaller sister city of Fürth, and because of the huge fan base of their big city rivals they tend to go under the radar a bit. They're a club that draws heavily on a distant past, but there was a time when Spielvereinigung Fürth (as they were known then) and 1.FCN were pioneers in the development of German football during the 1920s – winning nine championship titles between them in a period when the country was otherwise more focussed on athletics and gymnastics.
In 1924, for the first and only time, the German national team was made up exclusively of players from the two sides and they travelled together by train to a match against The Netherlands in Amsterdam. However, such was the rivalry between the two clubs at the time, 1.FCN players sat in the front carriage, Fürth players in the rear carriage and manager Georg B Blaschke was left sitting in the middle. During the match itself, a Fürth player opened the scoring but was congratulated only by his Fürth team mates. Things got to such a level that Hans Sutor, who was one of Fürth’s star players at the time, was forced to leave the club after he married a girl from Nuremburg.
Post war, the club struggled on and off the pitch and, after missing out on inclusion in the newly formed Bundesliga in 1963, found themselves playing in the lower reaches of the German football set up. Financial problems were also growing and in 1996 the club joined forces with local village team TSV Vestenbergsgreuth, who at the time were playing around the same level as Greuther in the amateur Regionalliga Süd. Recovery followed and promotion to the Bundesliga was finally achieved in 2012. The stay was a brief one but although SpVgg Greuther Fürth are now back in the Bundesliga, in past seasons they’ve been able to renew their rivalry with 1.FCN. In 2014 they recorded their biggest ‘Franken-Derby’ victory with a 5-1 success, won both derbies in 2016-17 for the first time since the seventies; and in the same season finished above 1.FCN in the league for the first time in 50 years.
Notable fans of the club include former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who was born in Fürth in 1923. During his time at the White House he was kept informed of Fürth’s results by the German Embassy every Monday morning and the club has since made him an honorary member with a lifetime season ticket.
Video used with the kind permission of Stadiums From The Sky
- Drone Footage of Stadiums All Over The World
Ground Name: Sportpark Ronhof Thomas Sommer Stadion
Year Opened: 1910
Renovations: 1911, 1919, 1951, 1997, 2011, 2012, 2016 - 2018
Capacity: 16,626 (8,500 standing)
Record Attendance: 32,000 (1952)
Executive Boxes: 12
Wheelchair Spaces: 25
Undersoil Heating: Yes
Running Track: No
Playing Surface: Natural Grass
Pitch Size: 105m x 68m
Vacher Straße (1906 - 1910)
Sportpark Ronhof (1910 - 1997) +
Playmobil Stadion (1997 - 2010) *
Trolli ARENA (2010 - 2014) *
Stadion am Laubenweg (2014 - 2016) *
Sportpark Ronhof Thomas Sommer (2016 - ) *
+Sportplatz am Ronhofer Weg gegenüber dem Zentral-Friedhof
* Stadium Renamed
Opened in 1910 as 'Sportplatz am Ronhofer Weg gegenüber dem Zentral-Friedhof' (which translates as ‘Sports ground on Ronhof Lane opposite the central cemetery’), The Sportpark Ronhof Thomas Sommer Stadium today bears little resemblance to its original design.
Rapidly expanded after World War 1, the ground was at one point the largest in Germany and redevelopment continued throughout the 1920s and early 1930s as the club enjoyed a solid run of on-field success. Apart from the construction of a new main stand in 1951 to replace the previous one destroyed during a bombing raid, development of the ground then largely stopped as Fürth struggled to recover in the post-World War 2 years. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the next significant phase of work on the stadium was carried out with the construction of three new stands and the installation of floodlights for the first time. Today the capacity stands at a modest 16,626 and, despite all the developments, the ground lacks the facilities of the new generation of German arenas. However, it still retains the look of an old-school type of ground, and the mismatched stands and towering classic floodlights only add to it’s charm.
The fully covered terraced North Stand (Nordtribüne - Blocks 2,3,4 and ... erm ... 12), behind one of the goals is adorned with club motto "Diese Stadt und ihr Verein werden immer unsere Liebe sein", which roughly translates as "This city and its club will always be our love" and this is where Fürth’s most vocal support gather on matchdays. At the opposite end of the ground, the South Stand (Südkurve) is also covered and although it’s mainly all seated, there is a small standing area towards the east which is given over to visiting supporters. This stand also curves around towards the main stand to create another area of covered terracing in the corner for home fans. The Main Stand (Haupttribüne) itself, opened in 2017 at a cost of €17 million, is a fully covered, two-tiered all-seated affair with the club offices, corporate hospitality and press facilities. The opposite Gegengerade running the full length of the pitch is a low, fully covered stand with seating space only, and spelled out in white letters amongst the green seats is the club’s nickname 'Kleeblatt' (Shramrock).
2022-2023: 11,233 (Bundesliga.2)
2021-2022: 7,595 (Bundesliga) *
2020-2021: N/A *
2019-2020: 7,097 (Bundesliga.2) *
2018-2019: 9,997 (Bundesliga.2)
* Season affected by COVID pandemic
Expected Ticket Availability
E-Tickets (which can be printed out at home as a PDF or opened on a smartphone using a QR code) can be bought online through the club’s website which they run with ticketing partner Eventim. The site is all 'auf Deutsch ', but Google Chrome makes short work of things for non-German speakers.
As a regular in Bundesliga.2, Greuther generally attract a reasonable crowd but the 'Ronhof' is rarely packed to the rafters. The only match you might have an issue with this season is the Franconianderby against 1.FC Nürnburg and the advice for this one is to get yourself organised and dip in as soon as tickets go on sale.
To sit in the Haupttribüne, it's €38 for adults and €33 for seniors and concessions. It's €30 for adults to watch the action from the Gegengerade with seniors and concessions paying €26. To watch the action from the Nordtribüne terrace, adults pay €13 and seniors and concessions are asked to part with €11.50. Children (6-13 years old) cost their parents just €5 for anywhere in the ground and even smaller people can collect free 'lap tickets' at the box office - although, as the name suggests, these don't entitle them to a seat.
Information about visiting the Sportpark Ronhof Thomas Sommer Stadion for fans with disabilities can be found at: www.bundesliga-reisefuehrer.de
GETTING THERE & AWAY
Greuther advise against coming by car due to the limited available parking around the stadium. If you are going to drive however then, providing you arrive early enough, the club recommend using the IKEA store car park in Fürth about half-a-mile from the ground. It costs €5 to park up here and to get there, just tap Hans-Vogel-Straße 110, 90765 Fürth into your Sat-Nav.
The city of Fürth can be reached in 15-20 minutes on either the S-Bahn (line 1) from Nuremburg Hauptbahnhof, or via the U-Bahn (line 1) from Nuremburg city centre (Direction: Hardhöhe). From either the Hauptbahnhof (main station) or the Rathaus (Town Hall) in Fürth, buses 173, 174 or 177 (€1.7) take another 10 minutes to reach the stop 'Friedhof'. From there, just take the first right turn down Mauerstraße and you’ll arrive at the ground. Free shuttle buses also run from Fürth Hauptbahnhof to and from the stadium on a matchday. If you have bought a 'day ticket' for the match, it's NOT valid for use as a public transport ticket. Only season ticket holders (and presumably Henry Kissinger) have this privilege and they can use public transport to and from the stadium from five hours before kick-off to 3am the following day inside the Verkehrsverbund Grossraum Nurnberg (VGN) area.
The stadium is about one and a half miles away from the main station and depending on your walking pace should take you about 30-40 minutes. The route here takes you through the centre of Fürth. Leaving the station, turn left and follow the road around Bahnhofsplatz onto Maxstraße. Keep going until you reach the junction with Hirschenstraße. Follow Hirschenstraße which changes into Brandenburger Straße and Königstraße. Keep following these until you turn right onto Erlanger Straße and cross the river Pegnitz over the Ludwigbrücke. After quarter of a mile turn left into Friedenstraße and continue until the end of the road, then turn right into Mauerstraße, which takes you directly to the stadium via a 'dog-leg' over it's junction with Erlanger Straße.
FAN SHOP, MUSEUM & STADIUM TOURS
Fan Shop Sportheim (Sportpark Ronhof Thomas Sommer; 10am-6pm, Wed-Thu; 10am-4pm, Fri; 10am-2pm. Sat); open but entrance is only possible with a valid match ticket; tel: +44 (0) 911 976768900 )
Fan Shop NORD (Sportpark Ronhof Thomas Sommer; behind the Nordkurve; open on home matchdays only from 90 minutes before kick-off)
FOOD & DRINK OPTIONS
Many fans take advantage of the wider choice of options available in the centre of Fürth or even Nuremberg, before making their way to the ground. There are however food and drink outlets in and around the stadium offering the usual German fan favourites of beer, chips, bratwurst etc and you can pay for everything with cash.
OTHER CLUBS IN THE AREA
BUNDESLIGA: FC Augsburg, FC Bayern München
BUNDESLIGA 2: 1.FC Nürnberg
3.LIGA: FC Ingolstadt 04, SpVgg Unterhaching, SSV Jahn Regensburg, TSV 1860 München