Founded: Nov 29, 1912
Club Members: 2,010
Coach: Ernst Middendorp
Regionalliga Nord: 1
Landespokal Niedersachsen Winner: 2
Founded in 1912, this small club from Lower Saxony had its priorities 'right' from the very start, as its footballers protested at the merger with another club by breaking away and forming their own called Sport Verein Meppen 1912.e.V.
Success of any sort was however a long time in coming, and it wasn't until 1961 that they claimed their first honours by winning the Amateurliga Lower Saxony Championship. A second league title followed in 1968 before a league restructure saw them play in the third tier Oberliga Nord before finally making the jump into the professional game by winning promotion to Bundesliga.2 in 1987.
Despite having a dwarfish budget compared to the other teams in the division, Meppen overcame the odds and established themselves with a number of strong campaigns including a 6th place finish in 1995. Incredibly they reached the quarter-finals of the 1997 DFB-Pokal on a memorable run that included a scarcely believable 6-1 thumping of Eintracht Frankfurt. By this point, the club's standing was such that even when they ran out of gas and were relegated in 1998, many people expected Meppen to bounce straight back up. Some grim days lay ahead for SVM however and they began a slide down the leagues ending up in the 5th tier amateur Niedersachsenliga division as recently as 2011.
After regaining their football composure, Meppen rose back up the pyramid and, in 2017, they overcame the challenge of SV Waldhof Mannheim in a play-off to secure promotion to the 3.Liga. Unfortunately, after enjoying an unbroken six year spell in professional football they were relegated back to the Regionalliga in 2023.
Ground Name: Hänsch Arena
Year Opened: 1924
Renovations: 1962, 1969, 1985, 1993, 1996, 2017, 2018
Capacity: 13,241 (3,000 standing)
Record Attendance: 18,000 (1982)
Wheelchair Spaces: 25
Undersoil Heating: Yes
Running Track: No
Floodlights: 750 lux
LED Video Screen: 24m²
Playing Surface: Natural Grass
Meppener Sportplatz (1924 - 1927)
Hindenburgstadion (1927 - 1992) *
Emslandtsadion (1992 - 2005) *
Vivaris Arena Emsland (2005 - 2011) *
MEP Arena (2011 - 2013) *
Hänsch Arena (2014 - ) *
* Stadium Renamed-
The Hänsch Arena has been a sports ground since the 1920s and has undergone a number of modernisations over the last century.
It’s biggest claim to fame is hosting the first ever appearance on European soil of Diego Maradona after he had joined Barcelona in 1982 and took part in a pre-season friendly against Meppen. Nine years previously Johan Cruyff and his Ajax team had appeared in a similar fixture. So that’s two of the best players ever to pull on a pair of boots who have turned out at the Hänsch Arena.
When SV Meppen were unexpectedly promoted to the Bundesliga.2 in 1987, the ground underwent an extensive programme of renovation, including the removal of the running track.
The ground is now one with plenty of character and a little bit mismatched, very similar to the grounds of SV Sandhausen and TSV 1860 München. The 3,100 seater, pitch-roofed, two-tiered KIKXXL Tribüne built in 1993 is a focal part of the ground with seating at the back and a terraced paddock for up to 1,400 fans at the front. The Augustin Tribüne opposite acts as the main stand which is where you'll find the dressing rooms, press facilities, dugouts and club offices. The remainder of the ground is all-standing leading to the generation of an excellent atmosphere.
2022-2023: 7,629 (3.Liga)
2021-2022: 6,208 (3.Liga) *
2020-2021: N/A *
2019-2020: 5,282 (3.Liga) *
2018-2019: 7,638 (3.Liga)
* Season affected by COVID pandemic
Expected Ticket Availability
The club website and online ticket shop are both in German only, but fortunately for non-german speakers, Google Chrome’s translation feature makes booking tickets a very straightforward process. Through the club's ticketing partner 'Reservix' you can have your tickets sent to your smartphone or made available as a standard Print@Home option. Actual match tickets can also be bought at the box offices which open up 90 minutes before kick-off or from any of the sales outlets Meppen list on their website here.
SV Meppen's matches very rarely sell out and so apart from possible plum ties against Bundesliga opposition in the DFB-Pokal, getting hold of a ticket for anywhere in the ground on any matchday generally isn't an issue.
Roughly speaking, and not including the €2 online service charge, full paying adult tickets range from €19 - €24 for seats, and it's €10.00 for a place on the terraces. Discounts for seniors, students, disabled people etc are available and children (aged 6 and under) are welcomed in free of charge but this doesn't entitle them to a seat of their own.
GETTING THERE & AWAY
Lathener Straße 15A
If you're coming in your car, the simplest advice is to put the stadium address (see left) in your Sat-Nav and follow it's guidance. Note though that Jahnstraße is closed to traffic (and pedestrians !) a couple of hours before kick-off. Information about parking options can be found on Meppen's website here.
The stadium is in a residential area about a mile from the centre of Meppen and is an easy 20-minute walk. From the rail station, head along Bahnhofstraße and bear right onto Isaak Visser Weg. Go through the subway under the rail tracks and then turn left onto Köningstraße. Follow this road as it bears right and becomes Herzog Arenberg Straße. At the next junction, turn left to stay on Herzog Arenberg Straße and continue onto Lathener Straße. After quarter of mile turn right on Am Stadion and the ground is on your right. Alternatively, Google Maps will help you plan a route.
FAN SHOP, MUSEUM & STADIUM TOURS
It seems that Meppen can no longer justify the cost the running the fan shop which was open at the Hänsch Arena, and they've taken the decision to sell all their merchandise online here.
There may be a 'pop-up' shop on a matchday - let us know if you've been to Meppen recently !
FOOD & DRINK OPTIONS
Many fans take advantage of the wider choice of options available in the centre of Meppen or even Münster before making their way to the Hänsch Arena. There are however food and drink outlets in and around the stadium offering the usual German football fayre of beer, chips, rostbratwurst etc and you can pay for everything with cash.
OTHER CLUBS IN THE AREA
BUNDESLIGA: SV Werder Bremen
BUNDESLIGA 2: VfL Osnabrück
3.LIGA: SC Verl, DSC Arminia Bielefeld, Preußen Münster