It’s a good time for football action to be back in Germany as some fans will be allowed to be in the stand for the German Bundesliga.
The decision was reached via a virtual meeting of the federal states’ chancelleries on Tuesday. According to reports, it is only the home fans that will be allowed back in stadiums, with no away fans present. Also, there won’t be alcohol and there is a ban on standing.
The German Football League (DFL) football said 20% of the capacity will be allowed into the stadium.
However, once a 7-day infection rate in a home city gets above 35 per 100,000, the game will have to be played without spectators in attendance.
According to the framework for the return of fans agreed upon by the league in August, which includes contract tracing regulations, those attending matches will need to supply contact details in case of new infections during the COVID-19 crisis.
Having worked on location-specific hygiene concepts which include prevention measures inside the stadiums and on the way to the grounds, every club must be approved by local health authorities before supporters are allowed back.
The financial cost of not having fans watching Bundesliga games
There is a huge financial cost to leagues without fans. Although all TV deals remain in place, matches without fans meant losses at the gates as well as in sponsorship money.
Most of the clubs that will be filling it are the top six that is usually filled beyond capacity at times. One of such is Borussia Dortmund, which has the biggest capacity stadium. BVB sold over 80,000 tickets sold per match prior to the pandemic. The club loses €4 million in every match without fans while other clubs with smaller stadiums lose less money in sheer numbers, but still a sizeable amount.
Fans are already back in Germany
Meanwhile, fans have already been allowed to watch the game in the first games of the season – the German Cup .
According to reports, over 10,000 supporters attended Dynamo Dresden’s 4-1 win over Hamburger SV in Saxony, while MSV Duisburg 5-0 loss at home to Borussia Dortmund witnessed the presence of 300.
In another related development, Dortmund’s famed Ultras will not return to matches at the moment.
Reacting to the development, Borussia Monchengladbach Ultras in a released statement said while they understood the need to partially bring back fans, “visiting a stadium under that hygiene protocol has nothing even remotely to do with what we perceive as fan culture.”
It could be recalled that Bundesliga restarted on May 16 last season, becoming the first major football league to return amid the pandemic.
Three of the big five leagues – English Premier League, French Ligue 1, and Spanish Primera Division have already begun. The German Bundesliga and Italian Serie A will follow this weekend.
There are also plans to bring fans back into soccer stadia around the continent depending on the COVID-19 reports of each country.