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August 2021

Where has the German efficiency gone? How we couldn’t see the ground for our seats in Dortmund.

By Walter Broeckx

I mentioned before that I also did have a few not so nice experiences at the Dortmund game.  Having reviewed the two matches it is time to turn to the negatives…

First of all a general feeling about Germany. I must say that it is all going downhill.  German efficiency they said… Well by a luck of the draw we had Dortmund in our group two seasons ago. And last year we had Schalke04 in our group and now again Dortmund. I have been to those games each time. And as Dortmund and Schalke are almost neighbours it is the same road I use for 90% of the trip.

Two years ago I saw road works. Last season they were not finished.  And now they still are not finished. On my road to Dortmund I have to drive some 225 kilometres. Roughly some 125km in Belgium and Holland and some 100km in Germany.

Well in Belgium and Holland the roads are mostly free of road works. But from the 100km I drove in Germany I had the feeling I was driving from road works to road works.    Of course there are traffic jam before the road works and then you have to drive slowly through the road works. So doing the 100km in Germany took me much longer than driving the rest of the trip. Much, much longer.

It took that long that we almost missed the kickoff for the youth league match. In fact the ref was kind enough to wait for us to sit down and then he started the game.

Please do something about that my dear Germans. I live in a country that has bad roads in general and we looked up to Germany as the way it should be. But driving in Germany is not fun any more.

For the next complaint we should first go to the Emirates.  I remember when the first plans were shown that one of the major things in this stadium was that wherever the fan would be sitting he would have a clear and unobstructed view on the pitch.  Now I know that some people like to sit low and close to the action and some like to sit high and further away to have a broader picture of the playing field. That is a personal thing. I don’t mind where I sit. High, low, halfway line, behind the goal… I don’t care as long as I have a good view on the pitch.

Last night in Dortmund we had tickets in block 8. In the Nord-tribune. Block 8 is the block in the corner closest to the pitch. We had tickets for row 1. As you can imagine the first row.  As it was raining in the Dortmund the first thing we noticed that we would get wet. Okay no big deal. There was a roof but as the wind blew in from the southwest (it mostly does in Western Europe) the rain is blown in to the North East direction where we sat. Nobody can help this. And I am not complaining about that.

But what is something that should put Borussia Dortmund to shame is that they actually allow people to pay for such a place. I paid 46 euro. And for that I got a seat in the rain(no big deal) but I also got a seat that when I sat down I actually couldn’t see the pitch. My view was blocked by some kind of railing with too small holes in it. As we were sitting some 4 meters away from the grille you got the effect that you saw something green behind the grids but you could not get the full picture. Let alone you could be able to view the football that was played on the field.

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I think nobody will make a fuss over this but those Man City fans who complained about the ticket prices at the Emirates got a perfect view for their money. I paid also my money and I couldn’t see a thing if I would have used my seat as it should have been.


This was standing on my seat. You could see a bit but when the ball was moving around it was impossible to follow it.

So the people of the first row seeing that all other people were standing in front of their seats anyway did the same thing. But when you stood up it went from bad to worse. Because on top of the railing there was some security part that was leaning backwards to the supporters. This is used in order to prevent people climbing up the fences and try to climb over it to get on the field. No problem with that but by putting it on top you get the effect that the part behind that part of the fence becomes completely obstructed.

So sitting down on the wet seat gives you no view, standing up in front of the seat gives you also no view. So the only thing that is left is to go and stand up on the seat.  But then the stewards came out to us and ordered us to sit down. I had a big argument with that steward using my best German and some Flemish swear words in between saying that it was a complete rip off to make people pay money for such seats.

I had to back down a bit and step off the seat when the threatened to put us out of the ground. I surely wouldn’t want to miss the historical evening. But I probably could have seen things better outside the stadium on a TV screen than inside from the seat I had bought.

Buying a ticket is one thing. It is a choice you make. You want to see the game or not and you want to pay money for it. But buying a ticket to “see” the game and then to find out that you actually cannot see the game from the seat you are supposed to sit on is something else. You don’t go to a rock concert and pay a ticket and then to find out that you can only hear the band but not see it. Unless you are blind of course.

So my dear friends from Germany: please do something about your road and road works.

And my dear friends from Borussia Dortmund: stop selling fake tickets.

PS:  What we did to have a bit of a view on the pitch was we moved up one row and stood between the people who had tickets for row 2. Thank you Gooners for your hospitality and for standing a bit closer to each other. But as it was a bit cold we kept each other a bit warmer that way.

PPS: Borussia Dortmund supporters are in general of the friendly kind. Just as two seasons ago we had no trouble whatsoever before, during or after the match even when it ended in a very disappointing way. For that I think they should be praised. Good sportsmanship.

The books…

The sites from the same team…

13 comments to Where has the German efficiency gone? How we couldn’t see the ground for our seats in Dortmund.

  • Axel

    Dear Walter,

    As a German Gooner, I would like to comment on your report. The road works are really terrible. I live in Duesseldorf and it’s a nightmare to get through to Cologne or the Ruhrarea. Three reasons behind it: Public transport is unreliable, spendings on infrastructure have been only realized in the Eastern part of Germany for 20 years and therefore we need to catch up now…for example the Leverkusen Rhine bridge is an massive overhaul at the moment. Last point: Money on infrastructure is always spent highest in ordoer to get the budget for next year. Crazy but true. If you seek the true German efficiency, go to Switzerland 🙂

    Away supporters in Dortmund: The area is one of the worst in Germany. If you were in the famous cage in Schalke…this is even worst. In Bundesliga games (I am supporting Borussia Mönchengladbach) we don’t give much about the stewards. The entire area is standing. I agree, in CL games Dortmund should not sell these kind of tickets. If so than they should label it with “restricted” viewing and a reduced price.

    I really hope we will top the group and draw Leverkusen. If this is happening, let me know if you are coming. No view restriction and a really good bratwurst.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I would love that Axel. 🙂
    I was in the ‘cage’ last season and the view was as it should be. I was standing rather close to the plastic wall in fact and even though the cleaning lady seemed to have forgotten to clean the window I had a good view on the pitch.

    Two seasons ago we were higher up in the stand and there it was okay. Bad luck with the way Arsenal has distributed the tickets I guess. They probably didn’t know this.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Leverkusen sounds perfect for me. Even a bit closer than Dortmund. So we sure would try to get some tickets for that game 😉

    Interesting about the infrastructure works. I didn’t realise that this had an impact on things like road works.
    It was just that the same road works still going on after more than 2 years was something strange I felt.

    But the seats where shit or sheisse as you will say. Oh well… we won… 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    And I am just looking at my recording of the game so now I will be able to see it complete 😉 Thank you ZDF 🙂
    That is efficiency …

  • Abel

    Dear Walter,
    Thanks for sharing such experience. Here in Africa it’s worse.
    One celebrity was trying to join his team on away duty and had to be driven to the stadium. Guess what? He was deliberately made to go around the city seven times on worse roads only to find stadium when the match was 11 minutes on.

  • Axel

    Hi Walter,

    I am confident of getting tickets at Leverkusen. I would be curious how you got tickets from Arsenal. As a red level member I wasn’t able (or fast enough) to get tickets for the Arsenal games at Schalke and Dortmund but man enough to walk in with my Arsenal shirt in the home/neutral section of both stadiums.

    If Moenchengladbach qualifies for CL…I won’t have any issues 🙂

    Also I would like to praise your refereering reviews. The bias on ManUtd was so obvious. Keep on going.

    Wherever, forever, Arsenal!


  • Jax

    It’s not possible to see all the pitch from all sections of the Emirates. I had a season ticket in the family section for the first three seasons which is in the West Stand quite close to the Clock End and 15 rows up from pitch level. From there you cannot see the far end of that side of the West Stand and appx thirty feet along the goal line of the North Bank end of the pitch without standing and leaning forward which upsets everyone sitting behind you. This is probably repeated in the three remaining quadrants and at Arsenal’s ticket prices (even half price family section tickets) is unacceptable.

  • RedandDread

    Walter, glad you were there to share that great win with other Gooners. Hopefully we’ll be celebrating another famous away win in another famous old ground.

    Sorry about the seats in Dortmund!

    Personally, I’m a fan that likes a seat higher up the stand so as I can get a better perspective of the game.

    One thing about the EPL, you don’t have those damn fences blocking your view. Mind you there’s no longer standing allowed. Which is worse? The security barriers IMO.

  • The font

    I would like to thank the Germans for there fantastic treatment of all the arsenal fans even the police very tolerant towards drunken arsenal fans the two Mathias who gave me a lift from Dortmund to
    And Juergen who used to live in finsbury park for his time explaining local points of interest I was totally amazed at how kind and considerate and gracious they were in defeat

  • GoingGoingGooner

    My wife and I had a theory when we lived in Germany that the never ending roadworks was to guarantee employment for workers. Why have 100 people working for 1 year when you can have 10 people working for 10 years? Of course, we had no proof for our theory, only our German friends who had long ago resigned themselves to their fate. 😉

  • Mandy Dodd

    Probably the same way as everyone else, recession, cost cutting, asset stripping….private equity??? As well as helping bale out the Spanish govt so they can finance Real Madrid! Got a lot of time for the way Germany has been run in recent years, hope they are not going the same way as some of their neighbours…..

  • blacksheep63

    if there’s a worse road in the world than the M25 (or the M1 between Js 16 and 8) I’m amazed. Joking aside 46E for a seat with a restricted view when we are constantly being told that STs in the Bundesliga cost a fraction of what they do here, is a disgrace and you should riase it with AiSA, AFC and Dortmund. On the subject of bratwurst I have consulted a German colelague here and she suggests I visit Birmingham’s German Xmas market where a wide variety can be sampled. yum 🙂

  • rantetta

    Tut! I’m a serial psuedo vegetarian and yo-yo dieter/juice-faster, who thinks one can drive at any speed on the German autobahn. I dream of paying a fiver to drive my very old automatic car around Nürburgring. I also thought I could one day go to Germany to watch a match for £10-ish.

    All of those dreams are now shattered. I dread ruining my car by driving it through potholes on the racetrack- that’s if I even get there, as the car might overheat in the traffic jams.

    I’ve tried to follow a principle when eating: Don’t eat anything that has parents! (Except fish, maybe). Sausages are a no-no. I mean, what the **** is in them? (Especially here in England). Having said that, when pork pies are sold from the ‘reduced’ counter, it’s very difficult for me to ignore them, and I’ve no idea what’s in them either. (I know it’s essentially – crap/reformed ‘meat’).

    The constant talk of bratwurst over the last few days has my mouth watering. Repeat after me: “I’m not going to ****ing Birmingham to sample soddin’ German beer and food. I’ve got my figure to think about, haha.

    I had noticed the fences when looking at the match in Dortmund, and I thought it looked odd, and from a different era. No wonder Dortmund fans were so happy and made so much noise at the Em’s – twice in the last 3 years. BvB, you’re very naughty – charging so much, and for useless seats. Sort it out! Refund for Walter or I’ll get onto Watchdog and tell Ann Robinson about it. (UK consumer TV programme). She’ll sort you out. Not.

    Great and very interesting and informative article, thanks.