Founded: May 30, 1904
Club Members: 35,000
Coach: Christian Streich
Captain: Christian Günter
Bundesliga.2 Champions: 4
Landespokal Südbaden Winner: 3
Famous for wooded slopes, cuckoo clocks and booze-infused cherry gâteau, the Black Forest region is also home to SC Freiburg who, despite having a dwarfish budget compared to many in the division, are today an established Bundesliga performer.
The club's origins can be traced back to 1904 with the formation of two clubs - Freiburger Fußballverein 04 and FC Schwalbe Freiburg. As with many teams that make up German football today, a series of mergers over time starting with these two long forgotten clubs led to the formation in 1912 of the club we know today as SC Freiburg. The first 60 years were spent as a largely unknown local side although they competed briefly at the highest level in German football, spending a total of six seasons in the pre-war Bezirksliga Württemberg-Baden and war-time Gauliga Baden.
After the upheaval of the war years, the club was reconstituted and played in the third-tier Amateurliga Südbaden where Freiburg first established a reputation as a difficult, workman-like team to play against. The club continued to make progress and in 1979, under the stewardship of legendary coach Volker Finke and fired by the goals of future German World Cup winning manager Joachim Löw, they earned promotion to Bundesliga.2 before their fighting spirit carried them to the top flight in 1994. After narrowly avoiding relegation in their first Bundesliga campaign, they fared much better the following year - finishing in third -place, just three points behind champions Borussia Dortmund, with an attacking and expansive brand of football that earned them the nickname Breisgau-Brasilianer (Breisgau-Brazilians).
Following relegation in 1997, the club bounced between the top two tiers for the next few years - a period during which Finke resigned after 16 years in charge (still the longest serving manager in German professional football history). After Robin Dutt and Marcus Sorg had tried unsuccessfully to fill Finke's shoes in the hot seat, former Freiburg player and coach Christian Streich took over the reigns midway through the 2011-12 season with the club, now back in the Bundesliga, in deep relegation trouble. Despite losing star striker Papis Cissé in a €12 million move to Newcastle United during the January 2012 transfer window, an impressive second half of the season saw Freiburg climb the table and secure their safety with two games to spare, finishing in a very respectable 12th position.
The following season, 2012-13, Streich really took the club forward as the team carried their form from the back end of the previous season into the new campaign - finishing in fifth-place and also reaching the semi-finals of the DFB-Pokal for the first time in the club’s history. But for a 1-2 defeat at the hands of Schalke 04 on the final day of the season, SC Freiburg could have finished fourth, thus entering the Champions League qualification rounds. Still, a place in the Europa League and the club’s second best ever finish in the Bundesliga was cause for celebration.
Drawing on his knowledge of the club's youth set-up to augment the senior squad, Streich's team won them as many fans as points. However, as they became more acclaimed, so their star players became more coveted and despite playing in European competition, Freiburg were powerless when the big clubs came calling. Key players such as Max Kruse, Oliver Baumann and Matthias Ginter were tempted away from the Dreisamstadion and with the lofty heights of recent years now already a distant memory, Freiburg's supporters braced themselves for a tough 2014-15 season - one that ultimately ended in relegation following a final-day defeat at Hannover 96.
The club soon bounced back however, earning their fifth promotion to the Bundesliga in 2016 and they've since established themselves as a consistent performer in the top-flight. And with Streich still at the helm and a new stadium about to open, the future certainly seems bright for the club from Germany’s sunniest city.
Ground Name: Dreisamstadion
Year Opened: 1954
Renovations: 1970, 1980, 1993, 1995, 1999
Capacity: 24,500 (10,000 standing)
Undersoil Heating: Yes
Running Track: No
Floodlights: 1,200 lux
Playing Surface: Natural Grass
Pitch Size: 100m x 68m
Winterer Stadion (1928 - 1936)
SC Platz (1954 - 1967)
Dreisamstadion (1967 - 2004)
Badenova Stadion (2004 - 2011) *
MAGE Solar Stadion (2011 - 2014) *
Schwarzwald Stadion (2014 - 2021) *
Dreisamstadion (2021 - ) *
* Stadium Renamed
With it's riverside setting in a quiet residential area, the Dreisamstadion has been SC Freiburg's home since 1954 and the patchwork nature of its development over the years and dramatic forest backdrop gives the ground some real character.
Long before 'stadium naming rights' became part and parcel of football, the ground was known for many years as the Dreisamstadion after the river that runs behind it, and it wasn't until 1970 that it saw its first expansion with the construction of the Sudtribune (South Stand). Following the club's promotion to Bundesliga.2, the Haupttribune (Main Stand) was built in 1980 and the addition of its 1800 seats brought the overall stadium capacity up to 15,000. Further works saw renovation and expansion of the Nord and Sud Tribunes (North and South Stands) as the stadium played catch-up with the club's continued on-field success.
The result was a 24,000 capacity pure football venue with four distinct stands, which have a slightly temporary look about them, set tight around the pitch. The Nord Tribune (North Stand) is the smallest of the four and is where Freiburg's most vocal following gather on matchdays. The opposite Sudtribune (South Stand) which backs onto Schwarzwaldstraße is the only two-tier stand in the ground and has terracing on the lower tier with seats above. It's also the only non-cantilevered stand with pillars supporting the roof and is partially reserved for away fans. Perhaps as an indication of the Dreisamstadion's struggle to keep pace with the demands of Bundesliga football in the 21st Century, the Haupttribune (Main Stand) is the only part of the ground to have any corporate facilities and a VIP block, built in 2004, dominates the north-west corner of the stadium.
Although it may lack many of the brave new world stadia facilities found elsewhere, the Dreisamstadion was way ahead of the game 25 years ago when Freiburg's position as Germany's sunniest city was used to make it the country's first solar powered stadium. Today, 2,200 m² of photovoltaic solar panels installed on the roof produces the majority of the stadium's energy requirements including the undersoil heating system.
As Freiburg's fans have got used to their club taking on the likes of Bayern, Dortmund and Mönchengladbach; the stadium has long been considered too small to cope with the demand. Indeed, its pitch (which has a steep declivity and slopes a full metre from south to north) is five metres too short to meet UEFA guidelines and it means that special authorisation must be sought to play European matches here. With its setting amongst tight residential streets and the narrow Dreisam River running close by, it meant that further expansion wasn't a viable option and in 2015, following consultation and a referendum, it was announced that Freiburg would be on the move to a new home located right next to the municipal airport in the Wolfswinkel district of the city.
The SC Freiburg Stadium will be a modern two-tier affair with a capacity of 34,700 including a 9,000 capacity 'safe standing' home terrace. Building began in 2018 and it was due to be open in time for the start of the 2020-21 season. However, delays in construction brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic means that the project is now months behind schedule and although December 2020 has been suggested as a potential new completion date, there are fears behind the scenes that the stadium won't be ready until the back-end of 2021. It's not the first setback to have affected the new arena. In October 2019, the club were dealt a leftfield blow when the local authorities put a block on any matches being played at night or between 1-3pm on Sunday afternoons due to noise concerns. This decision potentially affects many of Freiburg's home matches and although the club are confident that a solution can be found, it currently remains an issue that is yet to be resolved.
Given that there is no certainly at the moment that fans will actually be allowed into stadiums when the new season kicks-off on the 18th September 2020, the delay may not be a major problem - but as part of the stadium licensing process with the DFB, Freiburg have listed both the old Dreisamstadion and the new SC Freiburg Stadium on their application.
Ironically, the delay may also give Freiburg's fans the chance to bid farewell to their old home - something that has been denied to them as the final weeks of the 2019-20 football season in Germany were played out behind closed doors. Of course, it also gives the rest of us an opportunity to experience one of the Bundesliga's few remaining old-school grounds one last time - if you can get a ticket, that is !
2021-2022: 18,535 (Bundesliga) *
2020-2021: N/A *
2019-2020: 16,888 (Bundesliga) *
2018-2019: 23,900 (Bundesliga)
2017-2018: 23,894 (Bundesliga)
* Season affected by COVID pandemic
Expected Ticket Availability
As an established Bundesliga club playing in the division's second smallest stadium (1.FC Union Berlin currently play in the smallest), it shouldn't come as massive surprise to learn that the gap between ticket supply and demand isn't a healthy one. The situation should improve when the move to the 34,700 capacity SC Freiburg Stadium is eventually made (see SC Freiburg Stadium Delayed by COVID) but until then it'll remain a tough ask getting into a match at the Dreisamstadion as the majority of tickets are hoovered up by season ticket holders and members long before they get anywhere near being made available through general sale. In fact, only in the early rounds of the DFB-Pokal will your chances of watching the Breisgau-Brasilianer (Breisgau Brazilians) in action rise above 'slim to zero'.
Freiburg do at least save you the hassle of translating the bad news from German; and even try to offer some hope for securing a match ticket in the future with information in English and French on their website. If there are any tickets available, then these will be made available through the club's ticketing partner Reservix via the online ticket shop, the fan shop at the Dreisamstadion (NB: not the Rathausgasse branch in the city centre) or by speaking clearly and slowly over the phone on +49 (0) 761 88849996. Reservix also have a number of outlets selling SC Freiburg tickets in the area and they are listed here.
Tickets can be collected on a matchday from the ticket office in front of the main stand or, if you're not a fan of queuing anymore than necessary on matchdays, you can choose the Print@Home or E-Ticket options and head straight for the security pat-down instead. Freiburg advise that tickets can't be ordered by email, fax or letter; and that sales are limited to a maximum of five tickets per person - although unless you're already a season-ticket holder or club member, it'll be overly-optimistic to think that you'll have any choice other than to accept whatever is offered to you.
The club operates its own 'Zweitmarkt' for ticket holders who, for whatever reason can't make it to a match and want to offer it up for resale through the club. Don't get your hopes built up but more information about how the scheme works can be found here.
Roughly speaking, with Freiburg set to remain at the Dreisamstadion for a bit longer, and social distancing measures permitting, expect to pay in the region of €17 for the Nordtribune terrace, €15 for the Sudtribune terrace and €40-70 for Osttribune and Haupttribune seats.
PLEASE NOTE: All information in this section is subject to change due to COVID regulations. Please refer to the club website for the latest ticket information.
GETTING THERE & AWAY
79117 Freiburg in Breisgau
Coming from the north or south along the A5, exit at the 'Freiburg-Mitte' junction and head in the direction of Donaueschingen along the B31 following signs for Ebnet and Littenweiler/Stadion. Don't make the mistake of turning into the B31 Schützenalle Tunnel but keep left along Schwarzwaldstraße and the stadium will appear after a mile on your left. If you're heading from the Black Forest in the east, leave the B31 at the Littenweiler/Stadion exit. Bear in mind that due to the fact that the ground is hemmed in by the River Dreisam on one side, an adjoining sports club on another, and Schwarzwaldstraße and the surrounding streets are closed off to non-residents on matchdays, you're not going to be able to park at the ground. Your best bet therefore is to use the nearby Pädagogische Hochschule (Kunzenweg 21, 79117 Freiburg im Breisgau) from where it's just a short stroll to the turnstiles.
Match ticket holders can use public transport on matchdays anywhere within the Regio-Verkehrsverbund Freiburg GmbH (RVF) transport area free of charge from three hours prior to kick-off until 3:00am the following day. From the Hauptbahnhof, Stadttheater or Bertoldsbrunnen stops, jump on Tram 1 (Direction: Stadion or Littenweiler), hop off at Römerhof ("Stadion" is announced) and simply follow the fans making their way down leafy Fritz-Geiges Straße and the adjacent residential streets to the ground. Another option is to take the scenic Höllentalbahn which runs between Freiburg and Donaueschingen. Jump off at the Littenweiler stop, walk down Lindenmattenstraße / Heinrich Heine Straße, turn left at the junction with Schwarzwaldstraße and you'll see the ground on your right.
It's quite straightforward to reach the Schwarzwald Stadion on foot although the walk will take you the best part of an hour to cover the two mile route from the city centre. Come out of the Hauptbahnhof, turn right and head onto Bertoldstraße. Follow this road as it winds gradually to the right through the city centre becoming Salzstraße, Oberlinden and Schwabentorring. Keep going along Schwabentorring until it passes under the Schwabentor city gate and reaches the bridge over the River Dreisam. Turn left and follow Leo Wohleb Straße over the river until it becomes Schwarzwaldstraße and lead you directly to the stadium.
FAN SHOP, MUSEUM & STADIUM TOURS
You can pick up all your SC Freiburg fan artikels from the main fan shop at the ground (9am-6pm, Mon-Fri; 10am-2pm Sat; 10am until kick-off and for one hour after full-time on home matchdays)
There's also a fan shop in the centre of Freiburg to save you trekking out to the ground at:
Rathausgasse 15, 79098 Freiburg im Breisgau (10am-7pm, Mon-Sat;)
(For both outlets): Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ; Tel: +49 (0) 761 38551611
Although the club don't have a 'museum' as such, they do have an online version exhibiting posters, fanzines, match programmes, photos etc which date back to the 1917-18 season. Visit it here.
With the club in the process of winding down operations at the Dreisamstadion ahead of the move to the new ground, stadium tours aren't being run as a general rule. However, they do welcome enquiries from groups. Arrange a tour before time is called on the old stadium using the contact form here.
FOOD & DRINK OPTIONS
With the stadium slap bang in the middle of a residential area, places offering up pre-match food and drinks are a bit thin on the ground. Many fans therefore have their fill in the restaurants, bars and cafes of Frieburg's beautiful Altstadt instead before heading to the ground.
If you don't fancy cramming onto trams packed with Freiburgers heading to the Schwarzwald in the hour leading up to kick-off, join the pre-match party held at the sports ground behind the Westtribune (West Stand) from three hours before kick-off. Alternatively, head round to the supporter's ZapfleHutte Bar by the turnstiles at the north and east stands. In and around the ground you'll also find purveyors of various würst and other typical matchday fayre and you can watch the game with a few pints of Rothaus - the official stadium beer. Payment for your 'Bratwurst & Beer' pairing can made using old fashioned simple cash.
OTHER CLUBS IN THE AREA
BUNDESLIGA: VfB Stuttgart
BUNDESLIGA 2: Karlsruher SC
3.LIGA: SC Freiburg II
23RD SEPTEMBER 2020: Far From a Closed Case
The legal battle SC Freiburg are having with German authorities about playing matches in their new stadium shows no sign of abating as the latest round of hearings this month saw the case take an unexpected turn. Read more here.
12TH AUGUST 2020: Freiburg to stay at Schwarzwald Stadion until 2021
It was supposed to be open in time for the new season before COVID-19 threw a significant spanner in the works and although no-one can say for certain when SC Freiburg will finally make the move to their new home, this much we now do know: opening in 2020 is out of the question. Read more here.
1ST AUGUST 2020: SC Freiburg Stadium Delayed by COVID
SC Freiburg were set to move into the SC Freiburg stadium in time for the 2020-21 season - but like so many other things, the Coronavirus pandemic has put these plans on hold. Now both the club and the city of Freiburg have confirmed that the new stadium won't be ready for months ... and may not even host football until the back end of next year ! Read more here.