Dortmund target 15,000 fans, Frankfurt 20,000 in new season
DORTMUND – Borussia Dortmund hope to be allowed to let in 15,000 fans per home game in the new Bundesliga season while Eintracht Frankfurt are looking at 20,000, club officials said on Sunday.
The plans reflect the hygiene concept of the German Football League (DFL) for the partial admission of fans amid the coronavirus pandemic, if given the go ahead by authorities. The DFL has asked clubs to adopt concepts which can be approved by local health bodies in view of regional levels of infection.
"Due to social distancing regulations, which must be adhered to, we are currently planning for 12,000 to 15,000 spectators," Borussia Dortmund's managing director Carsten Cramer told the Tagesspiegel newspaper.
Normally, the biggest football stadium in Germany accommodates over 81,000 spectators at Bundesliga matches.
With most of the second half of last season played behind closed doors because of the pandemic, Dortmund lost around 4 million euros (4.6 million dollars) per game.
Cramer hopes that, in addition to the normal spectator seats, some of the approximately 4,000 seats in the hospitality area can be opened up again.
"It is of course a blow to the accounts if this income is completely lost," he said.
In normal times, 51,500 spectators fit into the Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt.
"Our planning is based on 20,000 spectators, although depending on the situation, it could also be 15,000 or 24,000," Eintracht board member Axel Hellmann told Kicker magazine ahead of the new season in September.
"We will discuss the concrete allocation procedure with fan groups," Hellmann added.
"All in all, the big challenge is not the seating arrangements in the stadium, but the issue of arrival, access and departure. We hope to be able to complete our detailed planning with the city and representatives of the public transport system in about two weeks."
Beer stands are expected to be open inside the ground - but not necessarily for the most obvious reasons.
"We also want to avoid queues at the exits after the final whistle. So it is certainly no disadvantage if people still have the opportunity to drink a beer in the stadium after the game and review the 90 minutes," said Hellmann.