1.FSV MAINZ 05
UPDATED FOR 2023-24 - AUGUST 2023
Founded: Mar 16, 1905
Club Members: 14,000
Coach: Bo Svensson
Captain: Silvan Widmer
German Amateur Champions: 1
Regionalliga Südwest: 1
Landespokal Südwest Winner: 3
In the Rhineland, the carnival months of November through to February are regarded as a "fifth season" of the year, and 1.FSV Mainz 05 owe their Karnevalverein (Carnival Club) nickname to the region's festive reputation. For a long time however, the moniker had been used as a back handed insult with the suggestion that, as a club, they could never quite be taken seriously. That all changed however with the appointments of Jürgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel; and despite having a dwarfish budget compared to many in the division, the club have defied expectations to become an established Bundesliga performer and are out to prove that they are there for more than just a party.
The club's origins can be traced back to March 1905 with the formation of 1.Mainzer Fußballverein Hassia 1905 and, as with many teams that make up German football today, a series of mergers over time starting with this long forgotten club led to the formation in 1919 of the club we know today as 1.FSV Mainz 05. Life started for Die Nullfünfer (the 05-ers) in the local amateur leagues and they initially made slow but steady progress, winning a number of regional championships in the inter-war period and qualifying for the opening round of the national championships in 1921 after winning the Kreisliga Hessen. After lifting successive Bezirksliga Main-Hessen titles in 1932 and 1933, the club were entered in the Gauliga Südwest, one of the 16 new first division leagues formed in the re-organisation of German football under the Third Reich. It was a brief stay however and, after just one season, Mainz were relegated before the upheaval of World War 2 saw them form part of a combined wartime side called Reichsbahn SV Mainz 05.
After the war years, the club was reconstituted and played in the top-flight Oberliga Südwest as an unspectacular mid to lower table outfit. Unsurprisingly, Mainz missed the cut when the German FA decided which sixteen clubs should form the new Bundesliga in 1963 and they settled down to life as a second division side for most of the next four decades - although financial problems saw them withdraw to the fifth-tier amateur Oberliga Südwest for most of the 1980s. After being walked back from the brink, the club eventually returned to professional football for a single season cameo after promotion to Bundesliga.2 was achieved in 1988-89 before securing an immediate return in 1990-91 for another go. Initially they were perennial relegation candidates although under unorthodox coach Wolfgang Frank who took his inspiration from Arrigo Sacchi's all-conquering AC Milan side, Mainz became one the first clubs in Germany to adopt a flat back four defence and zonal marking which flew in the face of popular German convention at the time of playing with a
Libero (sweeper) - a position pioneered by Franz Beckenbauer. It was a tactical switch that changed the direction of German football, influencing a whole new generation of managers including Joachim Löw, Ralf Rangnick ... and a future Mainz coach who would come to define a seemingly unrepeatable era of success at the Hessian club.
In 2001, with the club facing the prospect of relegation to the third tier, Mainz sporting director Christian Heidel approached former player Jürgen Klopp about becoming coach following the sacking of Eckhard Krautzun. Heidel told him he wanted someone who could motivate the players and reinstate Wolfgang Frank's tactical blueprint of 4-4-2 to which Klopp simply said "I can do that ! ". The enthusiastic novice went on to win six of his first seven games in charge and Mainz were safe from relegation with Klopp’s ability to capture and execute the core pillars of Frank’s philosophy proving pivotal in reviving Mainz’s fortunes. In the next two seasons, Mainz narrowly missed out on promotion to the Bundesliga as Klopp and his coaching staff innovated their training methods to hone a high intensity, counter-pressing style that would later become known as 'gegenpressing' and 'heavy metal football'. After the near-misses, Klopp led his furiously hard-working team to a third-place finish in 2003-04 and Mainz were promoted to the Bundesliga for the first time in their history, an achievement that Klopp still regards as the greatest of his career adding "We had a small squad, strong opponents. What I did with Mainz cannot be topped ".
Mainz finished 11th in both their first couple of seasons in the top-flight and even made the Europa League in 2005-06 via the Fair Play Award - although their maiden European adventure ended with a first-round 0-2 aggregate defeat to eventual champions Sevilla. However, with little margin for error in the transfer market and big-money additions out of the question, the club were relegated back to Bundesliga.2 in 2007 with Klopp vowing to do all he could to lead them back to the top table. Failure in that endeavour however saw him step down in 2008 and 20,000 fans packed Gutenburgplatz in Mainz's city centre to give the club's longest serving manager an emotional send off.
After winning promotion back to the Bundesliga in 2008-09 and leading them to their first DFB-Pokal semi-final appearance, Klopp's successor Jörn Anderson was fired just five days before the new season was about to start after an embarrassing early cup exit to Regionalliga side VfB Lübeck and it was U-19s coach Thomas Tuchel who led The 05ers into the 2009-10 Bundesliga campaign. Almost immediately, the comparisons with Klopp arose – a coach in his 30s with fresh ideas normally wouldn’t have been the most exciting prospect, but for Mainz, they had seen this once before and the future was promising. With a young team built around the 'Bruchweg Boys' of Andre Schürrle, Lewis Holtby and Adam Szalai, Tuchel guided them to an impressive 9th place finish in his debut campaign before starting the 2010-11 season with a bang with seven consecutive victories - a record matched only by Bayern München (1995-96) and Kaiserslautern (2001-02) - as Mainz finished the season in a club record high of fifth-place. The club qualified for the Europa League again in 2013-14 as Tuchel developed a reputation as one of Germany's most tactically astute young coaches - regularly switching formations and line-ups during matches whilst playing his own brand of high-octane attacking football.
Tuchel resigned at the end of the 2013-14 season after five overachieving seasons and took a 12-month sabbatical before succeeding Klopp again, this time at Dortmund, as comparisons between the two continued to grow. Meanwhile, back at the MEWA Arena, a succession of coaches have struggled to build on the foundations laid by two of German football's most influential managers; and with more time now being spent casting anxious glances towards the bottom of the table rather than the top, the challenge is to prevent a possible Bundesliga exit that is threatening to rain on the Carnival Club's parade.
Ground Name: MEWA Arena
Architect: agn Niederberghaus & Partner
Built: 2009 - 2011
Year Opened: 2011
Capacity: 33,305 (13,805 standing)
Executive Boxes: 35
Media Seats: 160
Wheelchair Spaces: 140
Construction Costs: €70m
Undersoil Heating: Yes
Running Track: No
Playing Surface: Natural Grass
Pitch Size: 105m x 68m
Bruchwegstadion (1928 - 2011)
Coface Arena (2011 - 2016)
Opel Arena (2016 - 2021) *
MEWA Arena (2021 - ) *
* Stadium Renamed
Opened on 3rd July 2011 at a cost of €70 million and originally named the Coface Arena before becoming the Opel Arena until 2021, the MEWA Arena replaced the Die Nullfünfe's former Bruchwegstadion home which despite undergoing a complete revamp between 1997-2004, had become too small to cope with demand as Jürgen Klopp's 'Heavy Metal Football' propelled Mainz to the Bundesliga.
With a capacity of 33,305 - nearly double that of the Bruchwegstadion - it moves away from the standard 'two-tier, continuous seat, enclosed bowl' design for new stadiums (see Augsburg, Hoffenheim and Wolfsburg) and its rectangular outline and steel-framed stands close to the pitch immediately draw comparisons to 'proper' English football grounds. The four stands are all single-tier, fully covered and only connected to each other via the roof and a lower promenade which runs all the way around the ground. The upper corners are noted for the perspex sheeting which act as a windbreak and help keep the atmosphere inside the stadium.
At one end of the ground is the 'Lotto Rheinland-Pfalz-Tribüne' terrace housing the most vocal of the home support (Blocks P, Q, R, S) who are credited with introducing the post-match Humba celebration to German grounds in the mid-nineties. The 'MEWA Tribüne' (Blocks F, G, H, I, J) opposite features the club crest appearing in white seats and roughly half of this stand is given over to away followings - although all of it can be made available depending on the levels of demand and how generous Mainz are with their ticket allocation. On one side of the pitch is the 'Mainzelmännchen-Tribüne' along which the word 'MAINZ' is spelt out in white against the otherwise red bank of seating, and the 'Haupttribüne' (Main Stand) opposite has a double tier of executive 'Skyboxes' boxes running along the back of the stand.
The floodlights are mounted on the stadium roof and two video screens located high up in the northwest and southeast corners complete the look of the ground.
2022-2023: 29,058 (Bundesliga)
2021-2022: 17,996 (Bundesliga) *
2020-2021: N/A *
2019-2020: 20,709 (Bundesliga) *
2018-2019: 26,287 (Bundesliga)
* Season affected by COVID pandemic
Expected Ticket Availability
Although the club website offers an English Language version, its online ticket shop is not 'Aüslander ' friendly and you'll probably need Google Translate to navigate your way around. Tickets are available in 'Print@Home' or 'Mobile Ticket' flavours (Note: for security reasons, Mobile and Print@Home tickets are not available to purchase for Blocks Q & R in the Lotto Rheinland-Pfalz-Tribüne) and although Mainz won't post match tickets outside Europe, international orders from further afield can be collected at the MEWA Arena's box office (Windows 7-8) from three hours before kick-off.
The Mainzers rarely sell-out and apart from matches against the usual suspects (i.e. Bayern and Dortmund) and local rivals Eintracht Frankfurt, getting hold of a ticket generally isn't an issue. Mainz also operate an official Ticket Exchange site and it's a good place to look if you've been caught out and the sold-out signs have gone up.
Information about visiting the MEWA Arena for fans with disabilities can be found at:
Mainz have gone for the simple ABC approach to categorising matches, but decided on no less than 7 different seating classes. Therefore, your ticket price will vary greatly depending on the quality of opposition facing Mainz and where you want to watch the action from. (Very) broadly speaking, for adults, 2023-24 Tageskarten range from €23-69 for seats, and €13-17 for a place on the terraces with a hike in ticket price and demand when Bayern München, Borussia Dortmund and Eintracht Frankfurt come to the MEWA Arena. Ticket prices also go up by €1 if bought on a matchday from the stadium box offices which open two hours before kick-off.
The cheapest seats are found in Blocks K,L,M,N & O in the 'Supportbereich ' along the front of the Gegengerade (Südtribüne) but bear in mind that this is also an additional fan block - so consider spending the extra money to sit in one of the other sectors of the ground if it's a 'neutral' Saturday afternoon you're after.
GETTING THERE & AWAY
Coming by car, take the A60 and follow the 'Stadion' signs along the L419/Saarstraße. Please note that you can only access Eugen Salomon Straße (not currently recognised by Sat-Navs !) with a prepaid parking permit for car parks P1 and P6. Otherwise head to the Park & Ride service at Mainzer Messegelände (Genfer Allee, 55129 Mainz) four miles away and take one of the free shuttle buses to and from the stadium. You'll also find free parking at both the University (Ackermannweg, 55128 Mainz)
and the old Bruchwegstadion (Dr.-Martin-Luther-King-Weg 15, 55122 Mainz) where 1.FSV Mainz 05 II now play their home matches.
With a match ticket you can ride around on the buses and trains within the Rhine-Nahe-Nahverkehrbundbund (RNN) and Rhine-Main-Verkehrsbund (RMV) transport networks:
- In the RNN area, the combined ticket is valid as a ticket on the entire day of the match
- In the RMV area, the combined ticket is valid from five hours before the start of the match
In both transport associations, your match ticket is valid until 4 a.m. the following day.
The Arena is three miles west of the city centre but on matchdays, free (providing you have a valid match ticket) shuttle buses run from Bussteig S (Bus Stop S) at the Hauptbahnhof and from the Mainzer Messegelände P+R car park (Genfer-Allee, 55129 Mainz) to the Jakob-Heinz-Straße/Arena stop a 15-minute walk from the ground. Otherwise regular trams (Straßenbahn) or buses 51, 53 and 630 head to the stadium from the city centre.
Note that before the game, all trams stop at the Kisselberg, Jakob-Heinz-Straße/Arena and Hochschule Mainz stations. For 45 minutes after the match though, for safety reasons, trams only stop at Kisselberg from where shuttle buses will take you back to the Hauptbahnhof and P+R car parks.
An increasingly popular way of travelling to the match in eco-friendly Germany is by bike, and Mainz are no different in encouraging you to 'do your bit' for the environment and improve your health in the process. There are 3000 'bike parking' spaces at the MEWA Arena with promises to further increase capacity.
The ground is about three miles from central Mainz and according to Google Maps it will take you nearly an hour to walk there. Use the time to enjoy a few beers and use public transport to get to the ground instead.
FAN SHOP, MUSEUM & STADIUM TOURS
05 Fanshop at MEWA ARENA (MEWA Arena, Eugen-Salomon-Straße 1, 55128 Mainz; 10am-6.30pm, Mon-Fri; 10am-2pm, Sat)
05 Fanshop (Seppel-Glückert-Passage, 55116 Mainz; 10am-6.30pm, Mon-Fri; 10am-4pm, Sat)
There are several fan shops along the concourses and a mobile fanshop - 05ER FANMOBIL - also parks up outside the Haupttribüne (Main Stand) on a matchday.
A number of different tours are conducted around the MEWA Arena. Information about them all and how to book can be found here.
FOOD & DRINK OPTIONS
The venerable Bruchwegstadion had been less than a mile from Mainz's Hauptbahnhof and fans enjoyed a pre-match drink at many of the pubs that lined the route to the stadium. The MEWA Arena however is built in the middle of nowhere, standing in splendid isolation on a greenfield site that looks even more rural than the three mile distance from the city centre would suggest - so bring study shoes, particularly in autumn and winter!
The only option for food and drink once you have left the city centre is the official fan village just outside the ground where the usual fast food options (bratwurst, burgers etc) are available. You can also satisfy your hunger and thirst pangs inside the arena and everything can be settled using contactless payment methods including Apple Pay and Google Pay on smartphones. The official beer is Bitburger and, at the last home game of a season, it's not unheard of for the remaining stocks to be sold off at €1 a pint. Prost !
OTHER CLUBS IN THE AREA
BUNDESLIGA: Eintracht Frankfurt, SV Darmstadt 98
BUNDESLIGA 2: 1.FC Kaiserslautern, Karlsruher SC, SV Elversberg, SV Wehen Wiesbaden
3.LIGA: 1. FC Saarbrücken, SV Sandhausen, SV Waldhof Mannheim