Borussia Park - Borussia Monchengladbach
Photos by Stephan Hoogerwaard, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00
Monchengladbach, North Rhine-Westphalia 41179
Year Opened: 2004
Bratwurst @ Borussia Park
The Borussia Park stadium 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 Borussia Park. After the groundbreaking ceremony on March 15th, 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 size stadium.
By the end of May 2004, Borussia Mönchengladbach left the outdated and much smaller Bökelbergstadion (capacity of 34.500 spectators). This stadium consisted of one double-tiered covered stand with only seats and three stands with all uncovered terraces. You can understand why it didn’t meet modern safety standards and international requirements anymore, so it was time to move.
On July 30th, 2004, Borussia Park was ceremoniously opened with a small tournament, in which, apart from Borussia Mönchengladbach, FC Bayern München and AS Monaco participated.
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 fanatic supporters are housed there. In this standing area, there are convertible seats available, so it is easy to make an all-seater from this stadium during 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.
Food & Beverage 4
On the concourse of the stadium, you'll find plenty of counters where you can buy food and drinks. There is not that much choice, but it is sufficient and the prices are average. There are various sodas to choose from and you can buy half a litre of beer. When you visit a German stadium you should try a Bratwurst, this typical German sausage comes with a small sandwich. You can add sauce yourself. They also sell Krakauers (3.10 euro), pizza slices, fries, pretzels, and other snacks. Luckily you still can pay with cash here, which is different at the Veltins Arena from FC Schalke’04 which lies 50 miles ahead where you can only pay by card (Knappen-Karte).
Walking towards the stadium you see from the outside that the stadium is rather small, but that is because a part of the lower tier lies underneath ground level. While inside you'll 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. Experiencing the atmosphere in German stadia is unique. Most of the 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 quiet, remote area with only some office buildings and other sports facilities. There are no restaurants or bars in the near area of the ground.
Borussia Mönchengladbach's most fanatic 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 the Signal Iduna Park from German giants Borussia Dortmund - there 25,000 fans are packed together each match.
The Borussia fans support their team all 90 minutes. Most of the fans when attending a match are dressed in a white (with green and black accents) home shirt. During the match, the vocal support is 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 motorway A61 which runs along the west side of the city. Take exit Holt and turn right onto the Aachener Strasse, try to find a parking place there. From there it takes you about 20 minutes by foot to get to the ground. When you are not going by car but prefer to go by train, there is a direct shuttle bus in operation from both the Mönchengladbach and Rheydt train stations. The shuttle bus takes less than 15 minutes to the ground.
Return on Investment 5
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 euros for a seat in the lower tier behind the goal, a great atmosphere, a very attractive match with high-quality soccer and five goals (4-1), I couldn’t wish for more.
If you want you can book a stadium tour and experience the Borussia Park in a completely different way. You can take a look behind the scenes with a guided tour that lasts some 90 minutes. This tour costs 9.00 euros for adults and 4.00 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 Bundesliga clubs in the Ruhr-area to choose from. If you pick Borussia Mönchengladbach, you have picked a good option. Tickets for most matches are available online. I’m sure you will have a great football experience. Just don’t forget to try the Bratwurst!