In bars, on the street, and at home on the couch: German fans are once again in the football mood. Millions throughout the country followed Germany’s opening victory at public viewing events
In Berlin alone 400,000 people wildly celebrated the opening moments of the German national football team at the UEFA Euro 2012 Championships. The 1:0 victory against Portugal was shown live on the "fan mile" in the capital on seven giant screens.
The event in Berlin was the largest of 100 public viewing events throughout Germany. In Cologne more than 30,000 fans gathered Saturday evening at the local arena to remotely be a part of the game being played in Lviv.
In neighboring Bonn, the city opened the gates of Sportpark-Nord stadium. Fewer people celebrated there than Cologne, but the mood was nonetheless good. “We have 3,000 enthusiastic football fans in the stadium today,” said organiser Elias Kahlag happily. "This is the first time that we have attempted something so big here. So far we are very satisfied."
Many fans sported German flags, scarves, jerseys and black, red, and gold paint. Despite a game characterized by deliberate and tactical play in Lviv, many fans in Bonn were enthusiastic about the German team. “I am sure, we will at least make it to the semifinals,” said Sandra, a young student. Patrick, standing next to her, went one step further, “We will be European Champions, I am sure,” said the 19-year-old.
Not just for German fans
Public viewing in Sportpark-Nord is only planned for the Germany matches. “We want to have a real European Championship mood. We can only guarantee that when Germany plays,” said Kahlag.
But the supporters of other teams in Euro 2012 need not worry. Since the café and snack shop owners have noticed that an outdoor atmosphere resembling that which surrounded the 2006 World Cup in Germany means selling more beer, bratwurst, and doner kebab, there are plenty of locations in Bonn where one can watch Euro 2012, even when Germany isn't playing.
In the middle of Bonn’s Altstadt neighborhood Martin is sitting in a small café watching The Netherlands versus Denmark match, "I live around the corner, but the TV here is better - and also the atmosphere," he said.
That is the sentiment shared by all those taking part in the public viewing events: Watching the games in large groups is felt to simply be more fun.
Author: Andre Leslie/dr
Editor: Rina Goldenberg