Updated 23rd November 2012 at 5:30pm with KO date and time
Due to the amount of correspondence I receive about the Berlin derby I decided I'd try and cover some of the main points about tickets for this fixture in a blog piece.
Image courtesy of Offside.com
I want sit/stand in the away end
Unless you're a member or have a season ticket at Union this is going to be difficult. Even with a membership card you only have until Wednesday 14th November at 8pm to travel to the ticket office and you are only eligible for one ticket per person. If you are a member who lives outside Berlin you can e-mail the club. Membership is €80 per season. Details here. You get a free scarf and a few other bits and bobs - chiefly, priority for away games.
Some people on Union forums have decried the fact that the club have not moved with the times and used the internet. Perhaps I am bias but there was something about having the morning off work and standing in the cold for 4 hours. I'm not sure what that something is. The sense of achievement? If you have membership and authorise someone to use the membership card on your behalf then they can buy you a ticket. "Vollmacht" is the German word for this. There was quite a bit of this going on.
Edit: Union have sold their full allocation. Ausverkauft is the German word for this.
When is the fixture?
Sky TV have not chosen their matches for the second half of the season yet. A farcical situation of buying a ticket for a match that could be on one of 4 days across the 2nd weekend in February. Not much help for international fans flying to Berlin for the game I know - unless you fancy coming Friday until Tuesday of course.
Can you buy tickets in the Hertha end yet?
Yes you can. These have been on sale for a while now. The game sold out in 2011 so I see no reason why it won't sell out again. (Edit - less than 5,000 tickets left according to Hertha site)
The official site is here. Block K.1 or Blocks 12 - 14.2 would be a good shout if you're looking to be near the Union faithful. (Edit - no tickets now available near Union fans.)
Is it a poisonous atmosphere like at other derby matches?
Certainly not. A heavy police presence, an alcohol ban in the stadium and away fans herded into the ground like cattle - yes. Bad atmosphere - no. Such points are always subjective of course but I can only go on my own experience. I called Hertha a few days before the game, and was lucky enough to get a ticket for the 2011 derby, as some players had returned their allocation. I was in the expensive seats and a few Union fans jumped up when we scored. Some even wore colours. I would not recommend this but I hope you take my point. This is not Newcastle v Sunderland or Celtic v Rangers. I've not been to a Merseyside derby but it's probably closer to that end of the spectrum than the Manchester derby. As ever, take care.
Traveling with the Union fans to the game
I was fortunate to do this in 2011. The U2 line runs from Alexanderplatz to the Olympiastadion and the journey is very lively. Well worth doing.
Keep an eye on the blog and I'll be covering where and when to have a pre and post-match drink.
Numerous friends have stayed here and been very impressed. A hotel style hostel. Read a few of the reviews.
Where can I party that weekend?
Check out this website from Mogli Oak. They have their finger on the pulse of what is happening each weekend.
I love Berlin and want to move to Berlin!
Do it. For more about Berlin life check out Überlin website, Slow Travel Berlin website and this guide to moving to Berlin which is also hosted by the team behind Überlin. You can ask them anything!
Picture courtesy of Groundhopping etc
Videos from the famous 1-2 win in 2011
Videos courtesy of Groundhopping etc