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150,000 clamour for tickets

A clash with Champions League dimensions

The Bayern ticket office switchboard was jammed again on Tuesday, as dozens of determined fans attempted to secure last-minute seats for Friday’s titanic Bundesliga clash at home to TSG Hoffenheim. More than 650 new requests flooded the ticketing section by Tuesday lunchtime via phone and e-mail, but each received the same answer: sorry, sold out!

In fact, the last of the 69,000 tickets disappeared weeks ago. “We could have sold 150,000 tickets for this game,” reported FCB ticketing chief Oliver Meßthaler, himself surprised by the extraordinary demand for places. Meßthaler issued an appeal to supporters: “Please don’t submit any more requests – it’s futile!“

This has not always been the case. When tickets for the first half of the season went on general sale in early August, even non-club members could have purchased seats and terrace places at the Säbener Strasse ticket desk and all normal sales outlets. “But with Hoffenheim’s continued success, the demand has increased week after week. We’ve had to send a lot of people away disappointed,” Meßthaler reported. TSG have also sold their entire visiting team allocation of 6,500 tickets for the match, something only the biggest Bundesliga clubs normally manage for their visit to the Allianz Arena.

Half of Europe watching

The nation’s most successful club Bayern against promoted Hoffenheim, a match which seemed destined for David versus Goliath billing just a few months ago, has grown into a true showdown between giants on the basis of the situation in the league standings. Indeed, the head-to-head between the champions in second against the shock leaders is without doubt the highlight of the first half of the programme, as FCB media director Markus Hörwick declared without a hint of overstatement: “It’s become the match which has electrified the entire nation.“

Hörwick and his media department staff have been similarly busy in recent weeks. “Naturally, the importance of the match has impacted on the demand for media accreditation,” Hörwick advised. Some 300 reporters and photographers will be at the Allianz Arena on Friday, alongside the staff and crew responsible for TV coverage. The game will be broadcast live in more than 100 countries, as the fixture takes on the dimensions normally associated with a major Champions League clash. “The whole of Germany will be watching – and half of Europe too,” commented Hörwick.

Jürgen Klinsmann is unsurprised by the tidal wave of popular interest and media hype. “It’s the game football fans have waited a long time for,” the Munich boss remarked. The Bayern coach believes the fans will witness a “highly-charged match, with a stunning atmosphere at the stadium.“ And Klinsmann is convinced of one more thing too: “The game comes at exactly the right time.“