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Allianz Arena Tour

Tuesday 24th November 2015
As part of a sporadic series of Stadium tours, new IRAIW author Luke Griffin takes a look at the impressive Allianz Arena, home of course to Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 München

Travel writing about football is always something I've wanted to do but I've never had a chance before because I don't travel as much as I would like to. I've never been to Germany before but I'm currently sitting in the Executive Lounge in the Hilton City Hotel in the Centre of Munich. This is my second day in Munich out of four. Munich is a cultural city with lots of roadworks and building work in the developing city. Public transport is excellent and easy while the road systems aren't the best and neither are the drivers. I speak no German, however everyone I've met has spoken good English.

I've just got back to the hotel after visiting the famous Allianz  Arena, home to German giants Bayern Munich and the second division 1860 Munich club, which is forgotten about and forever in the shadow of the German champions. I was upset to find that neither club had a home game while I am here.

I really enjoyed the experience and want to return in the future to watch a game. I went on an English guided tour of the arena with my Dad. Out of the 25ish people on the tour only eight were English, including me and my Dad. two Scunthorpe fans, a Fulham fan, another  supported Southampton and the other two chose to keep their allegiance hidden! The rest of the tour was made up of Asians, Italians, Spaniards and French who spoke good English but didn't know German. The tour was taken by a young German woman who spoke great English, but sounded slightly Canadian. We saw Bayern's and the away side's changing rooms, but not the 1860 Munich ones. We were given the choice of Bayern or 1860 but I don't think anyone has ever chosen the latter. We saw the small fitness suite where players warm up, some behind the scenes stuff and the press conference room which seats 118 journalists.

We sat on the second tier stands on the North end and were told information and were forced the shout 'goal' so we could hear the echoes. As we sat in our seats I sat in awe almost. I felt like I'd hardly be able to see the pitch but my view was perfect and I felt so close. We then moved to the west second tier stand and sat on the comfier seats reserved for sponsors. The west stand was home to journalist's seats with desks and areas for the disabled who had one of the best views on the pitch. Somewhere I'd love to sit in the future.

The Allianz hold an impressive 75,000, second most in the Budesliga to Dortmund. The arena sells out for all Bayern games and 1860 still get 20,000 per game which is impressive for a second division side. Every game Bayern sit in the south dugout while 1860 always have the North one. I also learnt that each Bayern player gets any Audi of their choice while 1860 get the choice of VWs.

Overall, the tour was insightful, a good length and full of good facts. It wasn't too quick or drag too long and had a humorous aspect with the mocking on 1860 and Lahm's height. I felt you see the stadium in a way you wouldn't be able to in a game. In a game you're obsessed with the atmosphere and the people. Just sitting in an empty stadium you admire the size, shape and can imagine a game. I was amazed by the view of the pitch and would love to go to a game soon. I enjoyed seeing the backroom areas where the players, Pep, coaches, physics, journalists, etc. do their bit in the machine that is the German Champions and European champion contenders.


You can read Luke's Blog here - Sideline Team Talk
Luke Griffin
I support Blackpool FC and interested in statistical analysis and sport betting. Want to contribute to the football industry and its progression with stats and analysis. Check out my blog https://sidelineteamtalk.wordpress.com

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