Corona fear, too much bureaucracy, weaning? The sometimes sluggish ticket sales for the Bundesliga start may be a warning shot.
Plenty of empty seats in Stuttgart and Wolfsburg, stagnant demand in Mainz and Augsburg – and even Dortmund registered an unusual reluctance among fans at the start of the league. The sometimes sluggish ticket sales in the Bundesliga have many reasons – and may be a warning shot.
“It takes some time,” said managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke of the newspapers Funke media group and demonstrated composure: “Some are cautious. The others have weaned themselves a little.”
After a year and a half without a spectator, professional football apparently has to win the favor of the public again.
Why is it that the permitted capacities have by no means been exhausted in all stadiums? Is it the fear of corona? Are the bureaucratic hurdles for visiting a stadium too high for people who have not been vaccinated or for children? Or are the fans simply weaned?
“It is certainly a bit of everything,” said Helen Breit, chairman of the Our Curve fan association, in an interview with the SID.
Scientifically proven love for football when it has cooled down
In addition to the “fear of infection”, the many “hurdles that make it difficult for some people to visit the stadium” and the lack of planning security (“Nobody knows what will happen next week”), Breit also sees problems in the pricing policy of Clubs that have changed at some clubs due to the switch from standing to seated and partial admission.
“The clubs should ask themselves whether it is a matter of economic interests at the moment or of providing access to the stadium experience as much as possible,” said Breit.
The concern for the favor of the audience is not only a concern of football in this country. In Italy, the love for Calcio, which has sometimes grown cold, has now even been scientifically proven.
According to a recent survey by the polling institutes StageUp and Ipso, “only” 24.6 million Italians call themselves football fans – this means a decrease of 2.6 percent compared to the 2019/20 season (25.5 million fans).
According to the study published by the Gazzetta dello Sport, the downward trend is mainly due to the stadiums closed during the pandemic.
Are many fans disappointed by the reform backlog?
The former Bayern boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had already warned against such a development in autumn 2020. “If we don’t have fans in the stadiums again soon, then I’m afraid that football will be seriously damaged,” Rummenigge said in an interview with the Picture on sunday said and voiced concerns that fans could stay away for the long term, even if the arenas are fully open again.
This has yet to be seen, but certain teething problems can also be identified in Germany. Before the pandemic, as Helen Breit describes it, many had oriented their lives on the Bundesliga game plan.
In addition, many people in the organized fan scene are still disappointed by the reform backlog. “In the last year and a half there has been a lot of discussion about the future of professional football,” said Breit, “nothing has been implemented so far”.