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Official Review by Stephan Hoogerwaard, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Borussia-Park is the home of German Bundesliga football club Borussia Mönchengladbach. The stadium is the center of all the sports facilities located in the ‘Nordpark’ of the North Rhine-Westphalian city of Mönchengladbach. This area was used until 1996 as Ayrshire Barracks North by the British Rhine Army.
It took just two years to build the stadium. After the groundbreaking ceremony on March 15, 2002, construction began on November 13th of that year. The total construction of the stadium cost 86.9 million euros, which is quite cheap for such a large stadium.
By the end of May 2004 Borussia Mönchengladbach left the outdated and much smaller Bökelbergstadion (capacity 34.500 spectators). This stadium consisted of one double-tiered covered stand with only seats and three stands all with uncovered terraces. You can understand why it didn't meet modern safety standards and international requirements anymore, so it was really time to move. On July 30 2004, Borussia Park was ceremoniously opened with a small tournament in which FC Bayern München and AS Monaco participated alongside Borussia Mönchengladbach.
During Bundesliga matches the stadium has a total capacity of 54,014 spectators. There are 37,869 covered seats and 16,145 covered standing places. Most of the standing places are in the lower tier of the north stand (also known as ‘Nord Kurve’). The most fanatical supporters are housed there. In this standing area there are convertible seats available, so it is easy to turn this stadium into an all-seater venue for international matches. The capacity is then limited to 46,287 spectators. The maximum permitted building capacity is 60,250 spectators, which is reached when the lower tier of the south curve is converted into standing places. The stadium has 45 business units with 684 seats and 1,758 business seats. There are also 194 press-related places in the stands.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
On the concourse of the stadium you find plenty of counters where you can buy food and drinks. There is not really that much choice, but it is sufficient and the prices are average. There are various sodas for 3 euors to choose from and you can buy half a litre of beer for 4.50 euros. When you visit a German stadium you should really try a Bratwurst (€2.90). This typical German sausage comes with a small sandwich, while you can add sauce yourself. They also sell Krakauers for €3.10, pizza slices, fries, pretzels and other snacks. Luckily you still can pay with cash here, unlike at FC Schalke's Veltins Arena 50 miles down the road where you can only pay by card (Knappen-Karte).
Walking towards the stadium, it appears to be rather small, but that is because a part of the lower tier lies below ground level. While inside you find a large stadium with mainly light and dark grey seats. The stadium is very compact which gives you a good view of the action on the pitch. To experience the atmosphere in German stadia is quite unique. Most German teams have large supporter groups; on this occasion, there were 4,500 fans from SV Werder Bremen traveling to Mönchengladbach.
This stadium is built where the former Ayrshire Barracks from the British Rhine Army was located. It's on the outskirts of the city of Mönchengladbach. The stadium itself lies in a quite remote area with only some office buildings and other sports facilities. There are no restaurants or bars in the near vicinity of the ground.
Borussia Mönchengladbach's most fanatical supporters are housed in the lower tier of the Nord Kurve (North Stand), where more than 16,000 fans are packed in this standing area of the ground. In Germany you can find only one larger standing area and that is at Signal Iduna Park - home of giants Borussia Dortmund - where 25,000 fans are packed together each match. The Mönchengladbach fans support their team throughout the 90 minutes with most of them dressed in a predominantly white home shirt. During the match the vocal support was very good from both sides. Supporter groups are fired up by a 'capo' with a megaphone.
The access to Borussia Park is good. The stadium lies next to the A61 motorway which runs along the west side of the city. Take the Holt exit, turn right onto Aachener Strasse and try to find a parking place there. From here it takes you about 20 minutes by foot to get to the ground. If you go by train, there is a direct shuttle bus in operation from both the Mönchengladbach and Rheydt train stations which takes you to the ground in less than 15 minutes.
With average prices for food and drinks, a delicious Bratwurst and a couple of beers, a ticket for a Bundesliga match at the cost of €27.50 for a seat in the lower tier behind the goal, great atmosphere, a very attractive match with high quality soccer and five goals (4-1), I couldn't have wished for more.
If you want you can book a stadium tour and experience Borussia Park in a completely different way. You can take a look behind the scenes with a guided tour which lasts around 90 minutes. This tour costs 9 euros for adults and 4 euros for children under 15 years of age. At Borussia Park there is also a very large club shop where you can purchase the widest range of accessories and merchandise.
When you are in Germany and you want to visit a Bundesliga match, there are several clubs in the Ruhr area to choose from. If you pick Borussia Mönchengladbach, you will have gone for a good option; tickets for most matches are available online, and I'm sure you will have a great football experience. Just don't forget to try the Bratwurst!
Member Review by sanderkolsloot on Aug 20, 2014
At the turn of the 20th century, the Fussball club Borussia was founded in August 1900. The term Borussia refers to the latin name Prussia, the province of the German Empire of which Mönchengladbach was a part of back in the day.
After the founding of the ballclub, it did not really have a place it could call home already. But in 1914, at the beginning of the First World War, the building of Bokelberg Stadium was started.
This was the stadium the team would call home for the longest period in their 114 year history. The Bokelberg Stadium was finished in 1919 and it would be the home of the Borussen till 2004.
The football team of Mönchengladbach has had a rich and successful history, especially in the 1970s, when it won multiple Bundesliga titles and won the important UEFA Cup twice. Gladbach got its nickname Fohlen (which means foal/colt) because of its successful teams in the 70s, made up only of young players from their own farm system.
After 85 years playing at the Bokelberg, the stadium didn’t meet the European standards and every time ‘die Gladbacher’ had to play in Europe, they had to use other spots to play (mostly Dusseldorf’s Rheinstadion). So the decision was made to build a brand new park, the Borussia Park, which finally opened its doors in 2004.
The park is located in a new, industrial/office area of the city and it is really state of the art. It can hold 59,274 spectators in total, but for a regular Bundesliga game, this number is reduced to 54,000.
It has 37,865 seats and the other spots are standing room, which is very common for German arenas.
Borussia Park has a tiered layout, with basically clear views for all spectators inside. There’s a business area/lounge and a closed off away section.
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