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FTW (wo)Man about Town: The Stadium Tour

If you’re a BVB fan visiting Dortmund, do you go on the Stadium Tour? Does the sun rise in the east?

My temple.
| Sarah M. Sekac

When you’re a Borussia Dortmund fan and find yourself in Dortmund, it goes without saying that a stadium tour is a required item on your itinerary. I knew that I would tour the stadium at some point, it was just a matter of when. My vision was to make it a trifecta to also hit up the Borusseum and FanWelt. After some research, I discovered the Mittagstisch option which includes the above and lunch at the stadium in the “exclusive business area.” Um...sign me up!

Up to this point, I’d spied Westfalenstadion from a distance, but it was time to officially make the pilgrimage to this Fußball temple. I could feel my excitement growing as each step brought me closer and closer. The 15-20 minute journey from my flat seemed to take twice as long as I kept stopping to take photo after photo. The yellow spires were like a siren song...calling me home.

Upon arrival, my first order of business was lunch! Now...I booked this option just so I could access this area of the stadium, not for the food. In fact, I’m fairly certain that this food service would not even appear in whatever Dortmund’s Zagat equivalent is, but you go here for the ambiance. This business area is situated on the west side of the stadium providing an excellent view of the pitch and Südtribüne. I had a little salad and some BVB-branded coffee, snapped a bunch of pics, and was ready to commence the self-guided tour.

Impressions of the “exclusive business area.”
Sarah M. Sekac

After leaving the tour check-in desk, you walk under the stands and go through a tunnel of sorts before emerging at midfield. Imagine my surprise when I finally entered the stadium and found myself literally moved to tears. Reader, between you and me, I never thought I would ever visit Westfalenstadion and to be there was indescribable. I was, in a word, overcome.

What is this salty discharge on my face?!
Sarah M. Sekac

Initially, I was skeptical about a self-guided tour, but I was never more thankful for it than at this moment because it was not a moment for me to rush. I paused here for a good 10 minutes or so. It was important to me that I remember that moment and that feeling of standing on the stadium grounds for the very first time. It’s something that I won’t soon forget.

Once my brain had time to process, I continued with the tour which was really fantastic. It takes you to the famous Yellow Wall, the Heimkabine (including the players’ showers and toilets which I thought was totally bizarre but maybe that’s just me), the player tunnel, and the sideline benches. What makes the self-guided tour so super is you can spend as much (or little) time as you want at any of the points of interest. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the vacant Yellow Wall and admiring all of the art/graffiti underneath the stands. When a particularly rowdy group of Italian high schoolers caught up with me, I simply let them pass and lingered until they finished before I continued.

Perfectly Coiffed. Making sure my hair is “match ready” just like Reus and Can.
Sarah M. Sekac
Obligatory Selfie: I may or may not, but definitely did sit in every seat.
Sarah M. Sekac

Following the tour, I ventured into the Borusseum. Excepting the schatzkammer, the museum was okay. If you read about my visit to the Deutsches Fußball Museum then you know my thoughts on museums in general and my experience at DFM would be pretty impossible to top. I did the requisite walkthrough and was ready for my final stop: the FanWelt.

If you’re an international fan, perhaps you’re like me and bemoaned the paltry offerings in the online international fanshop. Particularly when you see what kind of gear domestic fans have access to, it’s frustrating. It was with this in mind that I was prepared to go all Michael Scott, bringing extra suitcases for merch.

The FanWelt: Two floors of merch is a BVB fan’s dream.
Sarah M. Sekac
The escalator that takes you to the second floor and also where you’ll likely blow your entire life savings.
Sarah M. Sekac

I perused the merchandise (both floors of it!), stopped for a bit of coffee (because of course there’s a café inside), and made my selections. My restraint should seriously impress you as I managed to escape without going completely broke.

Supermarket Sweep: BVB Edition
Sarah M. Sekac

After exiting the FanWelt, it was time to leave. As I rode the U-Bahn back to my flat, I reflected on my first visit to the stadium and really couldn’t think of anything I would have done differently. I hadn’t intentionally decided to tour the stadium before attending a match, it just worked out that way. I’m glad that it did because I was able to get to know this temple one-on-one before mixing in all the gameday flair. With that, my pilgrimage was at an end and I left feeling personally transformed (as one should after a successful pilgrimage).

Until next time...
Sarah M. Sekac

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