The club itself is called “Werkself” as the main sponsor is a huge industrial company and has all their factories in this very city. The word itself means something like “Manufacturer Eleven” and puts the team itself in a rather negative spot, regarding them as mercenaries. This is why people always feel like the club has no real tradition or identity. In truth, the atmosphere is not as bad as always depicted, the fan support and the entire scene is decent. Nevertheless, they honestly cannot compete with clubs like Borussia Dortmund on a fan base level.
Through recent expansion, the capacity of the stadium has increased to 30,000 and the club prides itself on keeping the stands and the fans as close to the action as possible – which makes for a cracking atmosphere. To say that the club is consistently in the top few clubs in the Bundesliga, and competing in Europe most seasons, the capacity of the stadium is still quite intimate. As such the atmosphere is fantastic! A cauldron of noise.
Bayer Leverkusen have the oldest official ultras group in Germany and they do their bit to create an atmosphere down in the standing section. That said, they’re some of the friendliest fans around and look down on a lot of the tribalism that can dominate German football. You’re most unlikely to come across any hassle at all, unless the game is with FC Köln. Those derbies can get a little tasty, though the police will have everything under control.
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