I know it’s a third-league German football game, but I had to go to one at least once… just to see what it was like. The team that I went to go watch was SV (Sportverein) Wehen Wiesbaden, a team that started in the regionals and over time have slowly risen in the ranks and eventually made it into the third league. Earlier this year, Wiesbaden surprised a lot of people by knocking out St. Pauli, a second-league Bundesliga team (a team from Hamburg and also a former first league team), out of the German Cup. Unfortunately or fortunately for the Hamburg fans, Wiesbaden was unable to knock out the other Hamburg team, Hamburger SV, in the next German Cup game. Hamburg, having been relegated for the first time in their team’s history, promptly went to work and ended Wiesbaden’s dream German Cup run to proceed onwards. There was a lot of shock that made some Wiesbaden fans hopeful that their dream could go even further into the German Cup, kind of like what happened when Eintracht Frankfurt beat Bayern Munich in the German Cup Final last season (but Bayern got its revenge by winning this season’s Super Cup).
SV Wehen Wiesbaden is based in the German city of Wiesbaden, west of Frankfurt and northwest of Mainz where both teams in the first league in those cities (Eintracht Frankfurt and Mainz SV) are not generally not worried about small fry such as SV Wehen Wiesbaden. Wiesbaden, as a city, is considered to be more like a bedroom community for Mainz and Frankfurt so its people usually take public transportation to travel to/from Wiesbaden to other cities to work since Wiesbaden is pretty cramped particularly around downtown (inner city). Compared to other German cities in the past, Wiesbaden did not get bombed heavily during World War II. It did get attacked as it was home to one of the German military HQs there but the US military quickly captured the city en-route to capturing the much bigger, more economically valued Frankfurt to the east.
Wiesbaden is also considered to be one of Germany’s most expensive cities to live in due to all the rich people living there. Thanks to the nearby OPEL car factory in Mainz and all of Frankfurt’s commercial activity surrounding the stock market, banking/finance industry, transportation activities particularly around Frankfurt International Airport, and telecommunications business, it’s easily identifiable that the rich want to live in nice neighborhoods/suburbs, away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. So Wiesbaden is their targeted city – not too small and not too big either with the additional benefit of being close enough to work via either public transportation or car.
SV Wehen Wiesbaden plays in BRITA Arena, definitely not the biggest or baddest stadium out there in Europe or in general for being in Germany. Not to mention having your arena named after the tap water purifier. Even with all those rich people living in Wiesbaden, the team has not been that successful as they played their best level up to the third league which is where they are now. The team has done better in recent years as they’re now hovering around the 6th to 9th place out of 18, so it’s good enough to be above average than hover near the risk of relegation (bottom 3). Their opponents, Wurzburger Kickers, have been worse as they’ve been more around the middle of the pack in third league and not to mention that the Kickers have almost the same kind of history that Wehen Wiesbaden has but have been in existence longer. They’ve bounced around from the regional leagues to third league and was even in top flight football league many years ago but continually struggle to go any higher. So they might be stuck perpetually in third league but then again you never know. Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig came out of nowhere due to some very rich backers.
In this season, Wiesbaden is continuing to surprise people with its continued success. After meddling around the middle of the third league, the team reeled off 5 straight wins to be in third place prior to this game against the Wurzburger Kickers. We’ll see if they continue the hot streak of wins because they could get promoted to second league which would be a major accomplishment for the team and the city!
However, in this game, the streak ended at 5 wins as the team lost the game to a 0-2 thrashing by Wurzburger. From what I saw, Wiesbaden is just not that good in terms of world-class talent level compared to teams like Arsenal, Chelsea, Dortmund, etc. Their players made some terrible passes that would result in complete disaster against far better teams. I think the team might have gotten a little big in the ego department like they did after they beat St. Pauli – the next game was a loss. Wiesbaden played what I call the traditional 4-3-3 lineup but at times would form it into a 2-4-4 on attacks. Wurzburger was 4-3-3 as well, but would stack in the middle and back in a 4-5-1 lineup to go on the counterattack which is what helped the team score 2 goals against Wiesbaden.
You can get tickets on SV Wehen Wiesbaden’s website. Tickets rarely sell out with the exception of the German Cup games when the big-name teams show up. I have a feeling if Wiesbaden made it to Europa League or Champions League, then the team would probably play in Frankfurt’s Commerzbank Arena since it’s far bigger and meets UEFA’s requirements of having enough seats. Nearby first league FSV Mainz had to do it one time.