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Bundesliga: Hertha BSC at 1899 Hoffenheim

25 April 2009 No Comment

After spending the first day in Frankfurt, we took the train from Frankfurt to Heidelburg on Friday morning with the plan to attend the Bundesliga match between Hertha Berlin and 1899 Hoffenheim.

Any trip to Heidelberg should include a tour of the Old Town, Heidelberg Castle and the University of Heidelberg (the home of Sociology). We spent Friday afternoon touring the city after the Marriott would not allow us to check in early.

Obtaining Tickets
While still in Chicago, I did research on how to purchase tickets for the Bundesliga matches we planned to attend. I discovered that the match in Hoffenheim sold out in 90 minutes and that tickets were selling for two to three times face value on eBay. Rather than try to scalp tickets in German, I chose to take the guarantee and bought two tickets for 129 Euros from eBay Germany (I used babelfish.yahoo.com to translate the listing).

Train
We knew it would take about 30 to 45 minutes on the train to Hoffenheim. We bought a train ticket at the Heidelberg train station. To our dismay, we found out from the conductor that our tickets to the match acted as our train ticket as well. Oh well. At least we did not buy a round trip ticket.

The conductor also informed us that we needed to take the train to Sinsheim (not Hoffenheim) and that we would take a bus to Rhein-Neckar-Arena which hosted its first Bundesliga match only three months earlier on January 31, 2009.

Pre Game Dining
We arrived at the Sinsheim train station around 6 pm. Rather than hop on the shuttle right away we went to the Zum Bahnhof pub located right across from the train station. We sat inside the pub as we watched the 1899 Hoffenheim supporters sing outside.

We took the bus as the 7 pm train arrived. After the bus dropped us off, we stopped at a temporary concession stand that served beer and sausage. After eating we headed to the stadium.

I did not see anyone obvious selling tickets to the match, so it appeared my decision to buy tickets from eBay before flying over was a good one.

Concessions
To my surprise, you could buy beer inside the stadium and sit in your seat while drinking the beer. In England you can buy beer but have to drink it in the concourse. European countries all seem to have their own rules. Beer inside the stadium cost 3.10 Euro.

In order to purchase anything from the concession stand, you had to put money on a “concessions card.” Then you could purchase items from the concessions stand with the card only – no cash. This was similar to when my brother and I attended an NFL Europa game at Amsterdam ArenA.

The Game
Hertha defeated 1899 1-0 on a goal by Patrick Ebert in the 40th minute.

Post Game
Instead of taking the bus back to the train station, we followed the crowd and walked back. The walk took about 10-15 minutes. We were one of the last few to get on the train as we headed back to Heidelberg.

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