German Bundesliga football club Borussia Dortmund has expanded an initiative that grants fans free travel via public transport to matches at Signal Iduna Park, with the scheme now covering the entire state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

For more than 30 years, free public transport to and from the stadium has been provided to Dortmund fans in the Rhein-Ruhr region. The club has now partnered with local public transport operator DSW21 to extend the offer to fans across the state, with the initiative available for both season ticket holders and single ticket buyers.

The expansion of the service will mean that fans from Aachen, Cologne, Bochum, Bielefeld or anywhere else in North Rhine-Westphalia can travel to and from Dortmund matches for free via train or bus. Dortmund said the service will be unique among Bundesliga clubs.

Signal Iduna Park has a capacity of 81,000 and 90% of Dortmund’s season ticket holders come from North Rhine-Westphalia. The expansion of the free travel initiative is designed to support local public transport services and reduce CO2 emissions across the state.

Carsten Cramer (left of picture), Dortmund’s managing director, said: “The expansion of the KombiTicket to all of North Rhine-Westphalia is of course a service especially for fans who live outside the VRR (Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr) area.

“But it is also very important to us that the more comfortable, cheaper and therefore more attractive the journey by public transport, the more fans will decide to leave their car behind. In this way, together with our sustainability partner DSW21 and the transport associations, we are making our contribution to reducing CO2 emissions.”

DSW21 board member, Hubert Jung (right of picture), added: “BVB and DSW21 were pioneers as early as 1990 – as the first transport company and the first Bundesliga club to jointly introduce a KombiTicket. We are therefore particularly pleased that we are now back at the forefront by extending the validity of the KombiTicket.”

The COVID-19 pandemic meant that Dortmund was forced to play the majority of the 2020-21 Bundesliga season without fans at Signal Iduna Park. The team did play some matches with a limited number of fans at the start of the season before a rise in COVID-19 cases forced matches back behind closed doors.

Image: Borussia Dortmund