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The hottest ticket in town: The insane popularity of FC Bayern

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So, you want to go see a Bayern game live? Good luck with that!

Photo by Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images for MAN

Let’s start with a little history.

When FC Bayern Munich first started planning the construction of what would become the Allianz Arena, they had to give in to their co-tenant, TSV 1860 Munich, on the capacity of the new venue. Bayern wanted more than the original 68,000 seats, but their local rivals were worried about having to play in front of too many empty seats.

Fast forward 12 years, and the AA now belongs exclusively to FC Bayern. 1860 sold their share years ago, and now have officially moved out, while the capacity has twice been expanded since opening, and now seats 75,000 fans.

Club president Uli Hoeness still laments that they had to compromise, because demand for tickets to a Bayern game has gone through the roof, and the stadium has been sold out for over ten years. But, even he couldn’t have predicted the incredible popularity of his club, fueled by years and years of sustained success.

Demand for Bayern tickets is ... INSANE!

According to a kicker article, the orders far outpace the availability for the 2017/18 season. Orders are still being accepted until August third, but already every single home game is hopelessly overbooked. Even the “least popular” game, against newly promoted Hannover 96, has seen 124,000 ticket requests.

Which game is in most demand? The answer is obvious, the one against Bayern’s biggest and most consistent competitor, Borussia Dortmund. Almost three times as many tickets have been ordered — 210,000 requests — as there are seats. Next on the list is RB Leipzig, with 175,000 orders, followed, somewhat surprisingly, by VfB Stuttgart, the winners of last season’s second division, at 167,000.

Keep in mind, only club members and official fan clubs can pre-order tickets, so the demand is likely significantly higher, if average Joe Shmoe fan was allowed to participate as well. Once all requests are in, the club will hold a lottery to determine who gets blessed with a ticket.

How about catching a game on the road?

Well, your odds are even worse in this case. Visiting teams are allocated a block of seats, based on DFL rules, that are passed on to their fans. For example, Bayern supporters have 8,000 tickets available at the Westfalenstadion — aka Signal Iduna Park — but the club already has 85,000 inquiries. The least interesting game to the traveling Bayern faithful? The first away game in Bremen, which “only” drew 42,000 requests.

To put all of this in perspective, if the Allianz Arena had been built with 124,000 seats — which would easily have made it the largest venue in Europe — Bayern could still have easily continued their sellout streak that they started in 2007. On the flip side, at away games, if all available tickets were given to the supporters in red, they would still fill the Westfalenstadion and the Weserstadion, without any help from the local fans.

So, if you’re planning a trip to Germany, and want to see Bayern go for a sixth straight Bundesliga title, get your order in soon, and then hope for the lottery gods to smile on you.