Bundesliga News

Gladbach played a ghost game in Berlin ... more than 50 years ago

By Henrik Petersen

Today's game between Gladbach and Union Berlin will not be the first time that Gladbach plays against a Berlin team in an empty stadium.

Borussia-Park.
Borussia-Park.Photo: Borussia Mönchengladbach

On January 15, 1966 Borussia played in the almost empty Olympic stadium against Tasmania Berlin.


Just like Union Berlin is a new member of the top German league, Tasmania was the new kid on the block back then.

Only 827 spectators saw the match which is still the bottom record for a normal Bundesliga game. The olympic stadium had a capacity of about 90.000 people at the time, so the silence was loud. Fittingly, there were no goals, and the field was covered in thick snow, so there were not many fancy plays either.

"It was a disaster, back then we lived very much from the enthusiasm of our fans, a game in the almost empty stadium was very difficult for us," says Berti Vogts, who was part of the Gladbach team, cited by Rheinische Post.

There were no corona-virus but the amount of spectators was similar to todays game, because the entire football culture was different back then.

The Berliners didn't want to see Tasmania, fans didn't travel as much as they do today, and unlike today, there wasn't a large Gladbach community in Berlin in 1966.


Union Berlin is still the only team in the Bundesliga that Gladbach has never defeated. Ranked fifth, up against Union Berlin from the lower third of the table, this could be their chance to change that statistic, even if the home-field advantage may not be the same without a crowd in the stands.

Hopefully the game will provide more highlights than the ghost game from 1966.


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