Football in Gelsenkirchen and generally the Ruhr is equal to the fan’s religion. Every Saturday when Schalke 04 plays the entire city stands still. Everybody is either in the stadium or before any screen to watch their beloved game. This explains the crazy atmosphere in the stadium. Everybody is simply crazy about football, super passionate and enthusiastic. Due to the great importance of football you will never see any free seats. Moreover, everybody here knows all the chants and will support their team until their last day.
Schalke 04 are one of German footballs most storied and successful institutions. While success hasn’t come in the form of trophies in recent years, the 61,000 capacity stadium and its fans are used to seeing the club challenge at the top of the Bundesliga every year as well as being a regular fixture in the Champions and Europa League. This all leads to a fan base that is really in tune with the club – and when the fans are up for the game – the roof nearly comes off the place! The fans are bouncing from the first minute to the last. It really is awesome.
Passion, noise and atmosphere are the calling cards of the Bundesliga and you’ll find them in spades at the Veltins Arena. The Nordkurve, the standing terrace behind the goal, is one of the most respected in Germany and two minutes inside the stadium will show you why. Watching them can be as interesting as watching the game.
Away fans are in the opposite corner to the Nordkurve and raise their game to match them, though this can often spill over. On a good day, that means pyrotechnics and smoke bombs, on a bad day there can be trouble. The police are always on top of it and in big numbers, particularly for the Revierderby with Dortmund.
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