Allianz Arena to return to full capacity, Dortmund and Eintracht get upgrades

Bayern Munich has been given the green light to return to full capacity at the Allianz Arena, while fellow German Bundesliga football clubs Borussia Dortmund and Eintracht Frankfurt have both been granted capacity upgrades.

After over 18 months, Allianz Arena (pictured) is again set to host a full house following the decision by the Bavarian state government. It means Bayern can once again welcome 75,000 spectators to its home fixture against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on October 23. However, special match operations will remain in force, meaning the admission of spectators is still dependent on the evolution of COVID-19.

Bayern said the requirements within the framework of COVID-19 protection measures falls under the 3G-Plus rule. This states that entry to the stadium is only possible for those who have been fully vaccinated, have recovered, or can present a negative PCR test. Children under the age of six, children not yet enrolled in school or children undergoing regular school testing are excluded from the 3G-Plus rule.

Jan-Christian Dreesen, Bayern vice-chairman, said: “We’re delighted, especially for our fans, that full spectator capacity is now once again permitted in our Allianz Arena. We will carefully take all necessary precautions to continue to ensure the highest level of safety and the health of spectators.”

Rules on mask wearing and social distancing have also been dropped, while the sale of alcohol will also resume. However, there will only be one-off match tickets available for the Hoffenheim game and the UEFA Champions League match against Benfica on November 2. Season tickets will be valid from the match against SC Freiburg on November 6.

In July, it was announced that a maximum of 25,000 fans would initially be permitted to enter venues for major sporting events in Germany, under new guidelines issued ahead of the start of the 2021-22 Bundesliga season.

The announcement followed a meeting of officials from Germany’s 16 states and was designed to regulate sports events that attract spectator numbers in excess of 5,000. Germany’s states have since tailored their attendance guidelines according to COVID-19 levels in their local regions.

Dortmund recorded an attendance of 41,000 for Saturday’s 2-1 win over FC Augsburg at Signal Iduna Park and has now announced that new regulations in North Rhine-Westphalia will allow for gates of 67,028 fans moving forward.

The state government has ruled that from October 1, Signal Iduna Park’s seating sections can be used at 100% capacity, resulting in 52,692 seats. The stadium’s standing section can be used at 50% capacity, bringing potential attendance up to the 67,028 mark.

This will be implemented under the 3G rule and from the October 16 Bundesliga match against FSV Mainz 05 on October 16.

Finally, Eintracht has said it can play the upcoming home game after the international break against Hertha Berlin on October 16, in front of up to 40,000 fans. The club said approval from Frankfurt’s Health Department means that all season ticket holders can return to the 51,500-capacity Deutsche Bank Park after 18 months.

For the Hertha game, the 3G-Plus model will be used for the first time. According to this, a maximum of 2,000 unvaccinated or recovered people are allowed to enter the stadium, provided they can show a negative PCR test. This corresponds to a share of 5% of the approved stadium capacity.

The remaining 38,000 spectators must either be vaccinated or recovered (2G). In addition, the health department has also approved full utilisation of the business and VIP areas without the need for distancing and mask wearing. Again, only vaccinated or recovered visitors (2G) are permitted.

In addition, for the first time since March 4, 2020, full occupancy of the entire standing area will be possible again. Of the 2,000 approved tested fans, up to 400 tested fans are allowed to occupy the standing area, albeit wearing face masks.

Image: Bernd Dittrich on Unsplash