The Allianz Arena, the home of my beloved FC Bayern Munich, is truly a magnificent place to behold. My trip to Bayern’s match vs Hoffenheim was the first time I’ve been there since they remodeled the stadium with new LED lights as well as the beautiful graphics on the chairs. I had recently uprooted my entire life from cozy old Chicago, Illinois, to begin my studies for a second degree in Heidelberg, Germany. What better way to kick off my new adventure than a trip to Munich and to see FC Bayern play?
Now let me tell you, it was incredible. This wasn’t my first time at the Allianz Arena nor will It be my last, but every time I attend games there I am truly taken aback by the sights and the sounds. The TV broadcasts don’t give it any justice. But there was something special about this day. It just so happened to be the final weekend of Weis’n (Local slang for the Theresienwiese, where Oktoberfest is located). And boy, oh boy, beer was flowing! Being from Chicago and growing up at NFL games, I’m generally used to a rowdy gameday experience, but this was something different.
The first stop I made in Munich was Marienplatz, or the main tourist area to stop and have a beer before catching my subway to the stadium. [Note to my readers....if you’re ever lucky enough to spend some time in Munich for a game, please spend sometime exploring the Altstadt...it is truly beautiful]. After making my pit stop to gas up, I got onto the UBahn for the 20ish-minute ride from Marienplatz to Fröttmaning. The train was packed with a sea of red.
Approaching the stadium is a little bit of a hike, but it allows you to take in and appreciate the true scope and depth of Allianz Arena. It’s huge. Sadly, since it was a day game I was unable to see it lit up when I was there, but even then it’s hard to put into words the size of it. Thankfully, I dont have to.
Getting into the stadium was an easy thing to do and it was an easy walk up to get to my seats. I made sure to get there early enough to enjoy the new seats now that Bayern Munich fully owns the Allianz Arena. Since I still had time to kill before the game, I did the only natural thing — grab a beer and a brat.
First of all, a little context for my readers: at NFL games in Chicago, beer and food is EXPENSIVE. I’m talking $25 for a beer and some chicken tenders. So I’m accustomed to spending upwards of $60 every time I go out to these games (Not to mention ticket prices). That is not the case at the Allianz Arena. Due to the Weis’n special they had going on, they had full Maß beers (i.e. 1 liter) for sale for the low low price of €8,90. Toss in a brat that was easily a foot long for €4,50...it had the makings of much cheaper and better day than I was used too.
- Phil Coutinho and Robert Lewandowski adorn a 1 liter recyclable Maß available at the Allianz Arena in honor of Oktoberfest. Joshua Tobolt/Bavarian Football Works
- Concessions at the Allianz Arena. Joshua Tobolt/Bavarian Football Works
- A delicious Hoeness bratwurst at the Allianz Arena. Joshua Tobolt/Bavarian Football Works
Now that I had the necessities, I returned back to my seat to watch the festivities for the day. At this point, the game had just kicked off and the Südkurve was in full force at this time as I captured:
The crazy part is, it stayed like this the entire game. I was in the nosebleeds, but the sound from the Südkurve was just insane. It added a whole other dimension to the game. The Allianz Arena truly is a formidable fortress for FC Bayern. I also was lucky enough to see my main man Thomas Müller make a cameo to the game! And it’s safe to say...the fans were also very pleased to see him.
At the end of the day, it was a beautiful way to start my new adventure in Germany some 4,500 miles away from home. While Bayern turned in a very disappointing performance in a loss to Hoffenheim, it still beat watching them on TV back home at 8:30 in the morning.
For those of you that have never been able to make the journey to the Allianz to see them play, i’d suggest to find a way. It will help redevelop and solidify your love for FC Bayern. Mia San Mia!