SV WACKER BURGHAUSEN
Founded: Nov 13, 1930
Club Members: 6,000
Nickname: Die Salzachstadter
Coach: Robert Berg
Captain: Christoph Schulz
Regionalliga Süd: 1
Landesliga Bayern Süd: 1
2. Amateurliga Oberbayern A: 1
Bezirksliga Oberbayern Ost: 2
A virtual recluse of an entity after spending most of their history in the complicated lower league system of German football, Wacker's origins can be traced back to 1922 when members of a gymnastics club - 'Turnverein Burghausen' - broke ranks from their parent association to form their own club as interest in the new English game gained traction. With their autonomy secured, the nascent 1.FC Burghausen spent their formative years playing in local championships before a merger with a sports society formed by workers at the local 'Wacker Chemie AG' chemical factory led to the creation of a new club called SV Wacker Burghausen on 13th November 1930.
The union paid almost immediate dividends as the combined side captured the East Bavarian championship title in 1933 before securing promotion to the district Bezirksliga a year later. Despite being able to call on the talents of rising star Sepp Lindenmayer and early German international Eugen Kling however, Wacker were relegated back to the Kreisliga in 1937 before the allies brought Hitler's 'Thousand Year Reich' to an end in 1945. As football across Germany struggled to get its breath back after the war, Wacker returned to action in 1946 by winning promotion to the Kreisliga A (the highest amateur league in the region at the time) despite a lack of materials, manpower and money to repair their ground which had been used as a POW camp during the conflict.
Another Kreisliga title was lifted in 1965 before a 3-1 play-off victory that year over MTV Ingolstadt (the precursor of today's FC Ingolstadt 04) earned promotion to the Landesliga Süd where they became an almost permanent fixture over the next few decades - spending all but five seasons in the division until 1993 when Kurt Niedermayer led the club to the title and promotion to the fourth-tier Bayernliga with a 2-0 final day win over nearest challengers FC Gundelfingen. Momentum was building and another promotion followed a couple of years later when SV secured a berth in the third-tier Regionalliga Süd. In just eight years, Niedermayer had transformed the club by taking them from an unspectacular performer in local football circles to an established Regionalliga side before calling time in 2000 to take up the reigns as a youth coach at former club Bayern München.
Despite Neidermayer's departure however, there was still optimism that the club could make a push for Bundesliga.2 but a poor start to the season saw his successor Rainer Hörgl quickly replaced by former Gerrman international Rudi Bommer. League form continued to be disappointing though and only a 1-1 draw against 1.FC Schweinfurt on the last day of the 2000-01 season saved them from a return to the fourth-tier. The following season though, having finally managed to steady the ship, Bommer guided Wacker to the Regionalliga Süd title and an historic promotion to Bundesliga.2 as Burghausen, with a population of just 18,000, became one of the smallest towns to have ever hosted professional football in Germany.
Despite being perennial relegation candidates, Wacker managed to hold their own in the German second tier - even after Bommer's departure to TSV 1860 München in 2004 - as slightly above-average performances were coaxed from a slightly below-average team before relegation finally came at the end of the 2006-07 campaign.
On 6th August 2007, a stadium record attendance of 11,582 saw Wacker take on Bayern München in the opening round of the DFB-Pokal and a second half Thomas Neubert goal put Die Salzachstadter on course to send the likes of Philipp Lahm, Franck Ribéry and Bastian Schweinsteiger tumbling out of the competition. Miroslav Klose's late equaliser and a 4-3 penalty shoot-out win however sent Germany's trophy hoovering machine on their way to lifting a 14th DFB-Pokal trophy that season thanks to Luca Toni's extra-time winner against Borussia Dortmund in the Berlin final.
For Wacker, 2008 saw the creation of the 3.Liga as the lowest professional division in Germany and, as part of the league restructure, a 7th place Regionalliga Süd finish that year was enough to see them 'promoted' to the new competition. Life in the Dritte Liga was a struggle though and after a despondent campaign in 2008-09 which saw them finish rock-bottom of the table, only the forced withdrawal of Kickers Emden who were on the brink of bankruptcy saved Wacker from relegation to the newly created Regionalliga Bayern. They narrowly avoided relegation again the following year before a tumultuous season with 'Enfant terrible' Mario Basler as coach ended with yet another stay of execution in 2011 - this time because of Rot Weiss Ahlen's insolvency. In the end though, there's only so many times that you can cheat fate if you repeatedly court disaster and there was no reprieve in 2014 when the club finally dropped into the fourth-tier Regionalliga Bayern.
Relegation also brought financial pressures after banking on 3.Liga football to survive and in 2017, with average attendances struggling around the 1,200 mark, managing director Florian Hahn put in place a restructuring plan to walk the club back from the cliff edge which included a return to amateur status. With their financial future secured (for now at least), Wacker have managed to regain their footing in the Regionalliga Bayern and came close to bringing professional football back to this corner of Bavaria with a third-place finish in the 2020-21 'Geisterspiele ' season.
Ground Name: Wacker Arena
Year Opened: 1952
Renovations: 2002, 2006, 2008
Capacity: 10,000 (6,951 standing)
Record Attendance: 11,582 (2007)
Undersoil Heating: Yes
Running Track: Yes
LED Video Screens: 1
Playing Surface: Natural Grass
Stadion an der Liebigstraße (1952 - 2002)
Wacker Arena (2002 - ) *
* Stadium Renamed
Opened as the 'Stadion an der Liebigstraße' in 1952, the Wacker Arena was renamed after undergoing an extensive overhaul in 2002 and yet it remains a rather basic, lower-league venue.
There are four distinct stands. The modern-looking 3,350-seater, single-tiered Haupttribüne (main stand) is the focal part of the ground and it opened on 31st July 1972 with a friendly against Bavarian aristocrats FC Bayern München who rained on the parade by beating their hosts 4-1. The spectator area is raised a few metres above pitch level and features an odd choice of blue seats which clashes with the club colours. Perspex windshields at either end of an elevated roof offer protection from wind and rain. The stand is dominated by a semi-hexagonal block of corporate boxes in the centre and the dugouts are found on this side of the ground although the teams enter the field from the south-west corner of the ground.
Up to 1,800 fans can watch the action from the low slung covered Badseite terrace opposite which is only a few steps high and runs the length of the pitch. The arena's multi-use design (complete with a six-lane running track that sets the stands a distance back from the action) makes it look more like an athletics stadium than a football ground but in an attempt to address this and improve the atmosphere on matchdays, temporary stands have been built inside the track curves directly behind each goal.
At one end of the ground, the part-covered Westtribüne terrace (Block W) is where you'll find the loudest Wacker support and you should probably consider a seat in the main stand if it's a 'neutral' afternoon that you're after. At the opposite end, up to 2,200 away fans are welcomed onto a temporary block of terracing (Block G). We say "temporary" but it was actually built in 2008 to get the stadium ready for 3.Liga football following Wacker's promotion. There's no roof so be prepared for whatever the elements can throw at you and a wall of scaffolding as soon as you get through the turnstiles. There's a large video screen behind this stand and four modern floodlight pylons standing sentry in each corner complete the look of the Wacker Arena.
2022-2023: 876 (Regionalliga Bayern)
2021-2022: 743 (Regionalliga Bayern)
2020-2021: 695 (Regionalliga Bayern) *
2019-2020: N/A *
2018-2019: 910 (Regionalliga Bayern)
* Season affected by COVID pandemic
Expected Ticket Availability
Right on the margins of Bavaria, sleepy Burghausen is something of a football outpost and Wacker have historically been a club with a very small fanbase. The gap between supply and demand for tickets therefore is a healthy one and you can keep things traditional by getting tickets from the box offices outside the ground about an hour before kick-off.
If you prefer to have a ticket secured in advance, then you can buy Print@Home and Mobile Ticket versions via the online ticket shop. With this being the Regionalliga there's no English language option but to save you having to learn German, Google Chrome’s translation feature makes booking tickets through the club's ticketing partner 'Eventim' straightforward. If you're already in Burghausen and thinking about conducting a stadium recce ahead of matchday, you can pick up your ticket at the club office next to the main stand (Wacker Arena, Franz Alexander Straße 7, 84489 Burgahausen; open 9am-1pm, Tue; 12-5pm, Thu).
As the norm in the Regionalliga, there's nothing complicated about ticket pricing and the same flat-rate applies to all matches regardless of who Wacker are up against. Ticket prices to sit in the Haupttribüne are €15 for adults, €12 for seniors, club members, students, armed forces members etc; and teenagers (aged 7-17) can get in for €8. It's €10 for adults to watch the action from the terraces behind the goal with seniors and concessions paying €8 and teenagers (aged 7-17) just €5. Children (aged up to and including 6 years) are let in free of charge although this doesn't entitle them to a seat of their own - not that the Wacker Arena is ever likely to be packed to the rafters on a matchday.
Family tickets are also available from the box offices on match day only. Valid for two adults and any number of what Wacker's website terms their "... own children up to 18 years old", it's €34 to watch the action from the main stand or €24 if you fancy taking the family on the terraces. VIP tickets are also available for €70 per match - send an email to email@example.com at least three days before the match to get sorted.
Prices jump by €2 if bought from the box offices on a matchday - except for Family Tickets !
GETTING THERE & AWAY
Franz Alexander Straße 7
Heading along the A94 from Munich, come off at exit 25 and follow the dual carriageway B20 towards Burghausen for five miles. Turn left onto Franz Alexander Straße and after 400 metres, the Wacker Arena will be on your left. If you arrive early enough, you should be able to snare one of the 115 spaces on the Franz Alexander Straße car park right outside the ground which you'll be pleased to know is Kostenlos (free of charge).
Burghausen may be known as the 'Pearl of the Salzach' and for having the longest castle complex in the world, but it's certainly not the base camp of choice for watching football in the region.
We'll hazard a guess that most people will be travelling from Munich, and so the best option is to buy a Südostbayern Day Ticket (about €22) and hop on the RB40 (Direction: Mühldorf). This will take you as far as Mühldorf, from where you catch the RB42 (Direction: Burghausen) to the end of the line at Burghausen.
While it would have been a nice bearing in mind the effort needed to get here, match tickets unfortunately don't include the cost of public transport on a matchday.
From Burghausen's main train station, it's an easy 10-minute walk to the turnstiles. Turn left out of the station and head past the Mezzos cafe on the corner of Berliner Platz toward Marktler Straße. Cross over onto Elisabethstraße and follow this road for about 400 metres before turning left into Liebigstraße. Head down here, cut across the car park and follow the path (and the black & white shirted Wacker fans) through woodland to the turnstiles.
FAN SHOP, MUSEUM & STADIUM TOURS
Highlighting the straitened economic realities of being a modest club operating on sub-1000
attendances, Wacker are currently unable to justify the cost of opening a fan shop at the stadium.
Step forward local company - FunSport & Bikecenter - who sell merchandise from Wacker (and 24 other clubs !) online for you to have sent to a postal address in Germany or pick up from their branch in Burghausen (FunSport & Bikecenter, Gewerbepark Lindach D1, 84489 Burghausen; tel: +49 (0) 867 911766; email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
FOOD & DRINK OPTIONS
With the stadium slap bang in the middle of a residential area, places offering booze and decent food in the immediate vicinity are a bit thin on the ground. Many fans therefore grub up or simply wet their beak in the restaurants, bars and cafes of Burghausen's historical Aldstadt before heading to the ground. We were going to recommend 'Chillis' on Marktler Straße but between our visit (at the end of April 2023) and writing up this guide - it closed ! According to the website though, it's getting ready to reopen with new management so it might be worth calling in ... and letting us know what you think.
Of course, you can get your pre-match fill in the stadium itself and pay for your half-time beer and bratwurst with cash - so no need to worry about sorting out a stadium card !
OTHER CLUBS IN THE AREA
BUNDESLIGA: FC Augsburg, FC Bayern München
BUNDESLIGA 2: 1.FC Nürnberg, SpVgg Greuther Fürth
3.LIGA: FC Ingolstadt 04, SpVgg Unterhaching, SSV Jahn Regensburg, TSV 1860 München