Kein Zwanni: Everybody to Hamburg! You are needed!
We have intensively covered the initiative for affordable football ticket prices “Kein Zwanni” (“no twenty” - in reference to a 20 Euro bill for a standing room ticket). More recently, the initiative and several fan-organizations of our beloved BVB have called for a boycott of the first game of the new year in Hamburg to protest the unfair pricing. Over the past weeks, “Kein Zwanni” has been successful in significantly slowing ticket sales for the Hamburg game and in organizing on-site or in front of the Hamburg stadium during the game. Below is the latest update straight from our German-language section to give you the latest updates. As we hope you all know, the protest rally for affordable football ticket prices will be a parallel event to the away game in Hamburg. Parallel means, that we will be protesting outside the Hamburg stadium while our team will be fighting for Bundesliga points inside. Even though the away supporter section will not be empty, the event will not be sold out! Many supporters chose to join our cause and will be on-site to listen to the game on the radio in protest. Be with us! Every single one of you is needed because every supporter who joins us sends an important signal!
The match in Hamburg brings many things together. Aside from the known high prices, we find that especially the very short-notice and flexible system of assigning matches into one of four price categories is particularly unfair to supporters. In addition to that, the Hanse city Hamburg reduced affordable standing room to a minimum for the benefit of more expensive seats. Our fight for affordable ticket prices therefore also benefits supporters that buy seating tickets and shows very clearly that “Kein Zwanni” does not focus entirely on standing ticket prices. In hindsight, the tag-line of the early days “fuer nen Steher” (“for standing room” in reference to the 20 Euro price point of the initiative name) was not an appropriate choice. We don't want to let it go unnoticed that there has been discussion with officials from HSV since the last season. That is another reason why we want to reinforce our protest and intensify these discussions in the hope that we can find an acceptable solution in Hamburg for all supporters. The fact that we are focusing on Hamburg also does not mean that we agree with other clubs' pricing policies.
And why should this concern us?
Especially as a supporter who lives far away and usually does not get to attend matches in person, you may be asking yourself why this is important. We hope that you recognize the importance of this initiative to keep football an affordable option of entertainment and enjoyment for all groups of society. If you are in England, where ticket prices have already forced the most glowing supporters to pubs or other venues instead of the stadiums, you may know first hand what we are fighting for. A league once known for its atmosphere increasingly suffers from silent stadiums and dropping attendance. If you are interested in learning about what we are talking about, we can only recommend „Last day of he kop". But even in other countries around the world, commercialization of sports continues at a dramatic pace. In the USA, many clubs in american football only sell season tickets to those who can afford several thousand dollars for a “license” that only gives them the right to spend another fortune on the actual tickets, to just name another example. For our local supporters in Germany, many may not be in the situation where they cannot afford a trip to the stadium anymore but the aforementioned examples show that the road there isn't too long. In our club, we like to speak of a “family” - the most important trait of a family is solidarity – solidarity with the weak and young in the family. The football family is large and diverse. It connects people across the society and much of it's appeal is it's diversity. It would be a great loss to the sport if through higher ticket prices more and more supporters were forced out of the stadium in favor of a homogeneous crowd.
Last but not least, everyone who shows solidarity with our cause against unfair ticket prices also fights for oneself. If we don't fight the gradual increase in prices now, you may find yourself steamrolled by prices that you cannot afford anymore. And forced out of the stadium.
How does the protest look like?
During the open forum on January 3rd, the vote was clear. We will be making the trip to Hamburg to rally for our cause. We now have to let actions follow words and show that we are not just paying lip service to the cause. We want to ask everyone to get in the car, on the train or bus and come to Hamburg to create an impressive and atmospheric rally. The BVB fan-department is offering as many buses as necessary. You can find more information on their website (German language). It is important to mobilize a large number of supporters who clearly voice their resistance to the continuing increase in ticket prices. We need you for this. Of course, it is hard to drive across the republic (Dortmund to Hamburg is ~350km or 220mi) for a match you will not attend, but is there are better reason than the fight to keep football our national sport? After our experiences with the derby and the large number of problems with license-holders, regulatory authorities and the police, we decided to not try and organize a public viewing. Peaceful supporters who want to watch a match together seem to be a large source of danger. We do want to at least listen to the game though. Therefore please bring your radios and meet us at 3pm in front of the guest-supporter entrance to listen as a group. With this image, we want to make it clear where increasing ticket prices will lead to.
Everybody come to Hamburg!
“Kein Zwanni” - Football needs to be affordable
Stay tuned on schwatzgelb.com for more coverage of “Kein Zwanni”. More information in English can also be found here: http://www.kein-zwanni.de/en/