SG DYNAMO DRESDEN
UPDATED FOR 2023-24 - AUGUST 2023
Founded: Apr 12, 1953
Club Members: 25,074
Nickname: SGD, Dynamo
Coach: Markus Anfang
Captain: Stefan Kutschke
DDR Oberliga Champions: 8
3.Liga Champions: 2
Landespokal Sachsen Winner: 2
Dynamo Dresden's history is intrinsically linked with that of post-war Germany and began as the Soviets intensified their efforts to stamp out fascism which their paranoia had convinced them lay in the minds of sportsmen and women. As a consequence, the order was given for all sports clubs, including those in Dresden, to disband and start again from scratch. With no team to support, the city were on the look-out for an 'ideologically safe' representative and the East German police stepped forward to help set up a new football club - SG Dynamo Dresden.
Gathering up talent from other police-affiliated clubs, it wasn't long before they were a force in East German football, winning the FDGB-Pokal in 1952 before following this up with a first ever DDR Oberliga title in 1953. They were soon to become victims of their own success however. At the time, the state had total control of everyday life including football and the Head of the Stasi, Eric Mielke, wasn't happy that Dresden was enjoying football success whilst the East German capital lacked any decent teams. The Stasi set about putting an end to Dresden's fun by 'transferring' players from the all-conquering Dresden side to the newly formed Dynamo Berlin in a geo-political move to challenge Hertha Berlin and stop them attracting supporters from the East.
Whilst football was being used as a political ... 'football', Dresden were left with a skeleton squad and soon plummeted down the leagues, playing in the fourth tier Bezirksliga by 1957. They recovered over the course of the next decade however and during the 1970s rose again to become the most popular club in the country, winning five league titles and two cups as they battled Saxony rivals 1.FC Magdeburg for Oberliga supremacy. During this period they also established themselves as a force in European football with the likes of Juventus, FC Porto, Benfica and Liverpool all visiting the Rudolf Harbig Stadion. Dresden's return to prominence was once again too much for poor old Herr Miele and the story goes that he marched into the Dresden dressing room and announced with a degree of contempt that Dynamo Berlin would become champions from now on. His prophecy came true amidst rumours of bribes and corruption as the capital club subsequently won ten consecutive titles between 1979-1988. Dresden were the biggest losers finishing league runners-up on half a dozen occasions and the ill-feeling they share with many other former GDR clubs towards Dynamo Berlin remains to this day.
Despite league title wins in 1989 and 1990, the winds were changing and long before the riches of modern day football, Dresden, along with other clubs in the former East Germany, struggled to compete financially with their western counterparts following reunification. Despite tumbling down to the fourth tier by the turn of the century however, 'The Beast from the East' survived the hardships of the post-reunification years thanks in no small part to its huge following and fans will be hoping that it will only be a matter of time before Dynamo Dresden finally return to being the force they once were.
Ground Name: Rudolf Harbig Stadion
Architect: Beyer Architekten
Built: 2007 - 2009
Year Opened: 2009
Capacity: 32,249 (11,055 standing)
Executive Boxes: 18
Executive Box Seats: 196
VIP Seats: 1,548
Media Seats: 144
Wheelchair Spaces: 56
Construction Costs: €43m
Undersoil Heating: Yes
Running Track: No
Floodlights: 2,000 lux
LED Video Screens: 42m² x 2
Playing Surface: Natural Grass
Pitch Size: 105m x 68m
Dresdner Kampfbahn (1923 - 1937)
Ilgen Kampfbahn (1923 - 1951) *
Rudolf Harbig Stadion (1951 - 1971) *
Dynamo Stadion (1971 - 1990) *
Rudolf Harbig Stadion (1990 - 2010) *
Glückgas Stadion (2010 - 2014) *
Stadion Dresden (2014 - 2016) *
DDV Stadion (2016 - 2018) *
Rudolf Harbig Stadion (2018 - ) *
* Stadium Renamed
Looking very different from the iconic stadium that opened on the site in 1923; World War 2 bomb damage, flood damage from the River Elbe and a general lack of investment over the years led to the Dresden authorities completely overhauling the 'RHS'. Work began in 2008 and after €43 million had been spent on the project the stadium reopened on the 15th September 2009 when FC Schalke 04 ruined the party by winning 2-1 in a friendly held to mark the occasion. After a few name changes which saw the ground known at various times as Glückgas Stadion, Stadion Dresden and DDV Stadion, it's now referred to once more as the Rudolf Harbig Stadion after the Dresden-born athlete who set 400 and 800-metre world records in 1939.
From the outside, the modern stadium looks grey and imposing with an impressive glass façade facing onto Lennéstraße. In contrast to the bland exterior, inside the ground it's a blaze of yellow leaving you in no doubt which club calls this home. A pure football venue with a capacity of 32,249, its steep stands keep fans close to the action and helps generate the electric atmospheres that Dresden fans are famous for, especially when old GDR foes like 1.FC Magdeburg or the Leipzig clubs come to town.
The stadium is fully covered with closed corners to create a bowl shape and a single tier runs all the way around. In fact, the stadium is the largest single tier arena in the country. The main stand is slightly unbalanced with hospitality areas and the opposite stand is an all-seater with the words 'Dresden' spelt out in black against the otherwise distinctive yellow seats.
The most vociferous of the home support gather on the fully terraced 9,000 capacity K-Block (Block K1-K5) at the north end of the stadium, and up to 2,000 away fans are given a small part of the south-west corner (Block S).
2022-2023: 24,542 (3.Liga)
2021-2022: 13,784 (Bundesliga.2) *
2020-2021: N/A *
2019-2020: 20,824 (Bundesliga.2) *
2018-2019: 28,434 (Bundesliga.2)
* Season affected by COVID pandemic
Expected Ticket Availability
Dynamo's passionate following will ensure a good number of matches are likely to sell-out. However, with advance planning, it should be possible to secure a ticket and there's even a website which gives, in real time modus, the number of available tickets for the next home match: www.dynamocounter.de
The club website is all in German, but you can buy tickets (Print@Home or Mobile Ticket) through the online shop they run with their ticketing partner Etix. They are also available from the ticket offices at the stadium to the left of the fan shop on Lennéstraße or at any of the official ticket outlets across Dresden (see here for a list of these). You could also give them a ring (+49 (0) 351 85033717; 10am-6pm, Mon-Fri). If tickets are still available, then these are sold from two hours before kick-off at the box office next to the fan shop, in the Westtribüne (access via Blüherstraße) or behind the K-Block. Ticket prices go up by €1 if bought from the stadium box offices less than four hours before kick-off on a matchday.
The club also run an official Secondary Market through their website, although this is really aimed at ticket holders making their tickets available for re-sale if they can't make it to the match. More info can be found here.
For the 23-24 season, Dynamo have three pricing categories depending on the quality of opposition they're facing and so, roughly speaking, adults should expect to pay €22 - €46 for a seat and €15-16 for a place on the K-Block terrace. Family tickets are also available (from the ticket offices or via the ticket hotline +49 (0) 351 30708000 only - i.e not through the online ticket shop). Advance tickets for people with disabilities can also be obtained via the ticket hotline or at the ticket office on Lennéstraße.
Information about visiting the Rudolf Harbig Stadion for fans with disabilities can be found at:
GETTING THERE & AWAY
Coming by car, it's worth noting that there is very little in the way of parking at the ground itself, and even then you'll need a permit. So, it's probably best to make your way to one of the Park & Ride schemes around Dresden and travel in on public transport. Some parking is available on Strehlener Straße just over the other side of the railway if you arrive early enough. To get to the stadium from here, head to Franklinstraße, cross under the railway and head straight onto Gellertstraße. The stadium appears on your left after a couple of hundred metres.
Your match ticket permits you to ride around on the Verkehrsverbund Oberelbe (VVO) transport network from four hours prior to the match and up to six hours after kick-off. From right outside the Hauptbahnhof, jump on Tram 10 (Direction: Striesen) or Tram 13 (Direction: Großenhainer Platz) and get off at the Georg Arnhold Bad stop outside the ground. Trams 9 (Direction: Prohlis) and 11 (Direction: Zschertnitz) also leave from in front of the train station and stop at Lennéplatz, from where it's a 5 minute stroll to the ground. From the Alstadt, take Trams 1,2,4 or 12 and stay on for three stops to Straßburger Platz before jumping off and following the stream of fans heading along Lennéstraße to the ground.
The Rudolf Harbig Stadium is one of the few inner city grounds left in Germany and as it's only a mile or so from the Hauptbahnhof, it's no bother to just stroll over. Come out of the station so that you're facing the city centre, turn right onto Wiener Straße and after half a mile turn left onto Gellerstraße. From here it's just a question of following the tram tracks down Lennéstraße and the ground will be on your left after 250 metres. Don't worry about losing your way as loads of bright yellow shirted Dresden fans carrying their litre bottles of beer (which we bet will all be put into the correct recycling bins when empty) will be making the same walk. Just let them guide you to the ground.
FAN SHOP, MUSEUM & STADIUM TOURS
Dynamo Fan Shop (Lennéstraße 12; 10am-6pm, Mon-Sat; 10am-one hour after full-time on matchdays).
Go behind the scenes with a whole range of tours; including one led by long-time stadium announcer Peter Hauskeller who over the course of three hours will guide you around nearly every nook and cranny of the RHS including the dressing rooms, players' tunnel, mixed zone, VIP areas and the iconic K-Block. General information about all the available tours, schedules and prices can be found here. Alternatively, keep socially distant whilst giving yourself motion sickness by going on a virtual tour of the stadium here.
FOOD & DRINK OPTIONS
With the city centre so close, many fans head for the bars and restaurants there before heading out to the ground. Munzgasse leading down to the Elbe in the baroque heart of Dresden is packed with bars and restaurants and of course you'll find Irish bars such as The Shamrock on Wilfsdruffer Straße right opposite the Altmarkt.
Near the ground, and handily located for trams coming from the Alstadt, Ackis Bierstube is the place to go if you want to hang out with Dresden's support for a pre-match drink. It's right on the corner of Lennéstraße and Grunaer Straße next to the Straßburger Platz tram stop. Another popular meeting point is the Tortwirtschaft Biergarten right across Lennéstraße from the stadium and you can also grab a bite to eat here if the beer sharpens your appetite.
At the ground itself, the usual number of on-street sale fast food kiosks spring up on matchday offering the same beer and wurst variants you see at every other ground and after doing away with their stadium card scheme, Dresden will let you pay for your stadium sausage and half-litre of Feldschlößchen with cash.
OTHER CLUBS IN THE AREA
BUNDESLIGA: 1.FC Union Berlin, RB Leipzig
BUNDESLIGA 2: 1.FC Magdeburg, Hertha BSC
3.LIGA: FC Erzgebirge Aue, Hallescher FC