After two years of corona restrictions, Bundesliga stadiums are full again. The great atmosphere at games is an argument to get vaccinated, writes DW’s Andreas Sten-Ziemons.
https://www.dw.com-Borussia Dortmund welcomed back their fans against RB Leipzig
Admittedly, listening to players and coaches in ghost games in the Bundesliga during the last two years has been fun, especially when someone like “Radio [Thomas] Müller” is on the field. But let’s be honest, the sights and sounds of the Bundesliga in the first weekend of April 2022 were a lot more enjoyable.
The sound of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” coming from 81,365 fans in Dortmund, or 50,500 Frankfurt fans sighing in disbelief as their team missed yet another chance against Fürth, or the roar of noise from the Union Berlin fans when Taiwo Awoniyi scored the winner against Cologne on Friday night – matchday 28 was full of goosebump moments. Bundesliga football without fans was only half as fun as this. The return of the atmosphere the Bundesliga is famous for is great.
Games as superspreader events?
Of course you can discuss whether full stands without a mask mandate in light of the still high number of COVID-19 cases is a good thing. In February 2020, the Champions League game between Atalanta and Valencia in Milan was deemed a breakout situation for a number of cases in the Bergamo area.
Last summer’s European Championship semifinals and final in London were also the source of more infections, although negative-test checks of fans attending Wembley were reportedly lax.
In the Bundesliga there has yet to be an increased infection rate that has come from a game during the pandemic where spectator numbers were limited and restrictions were partial. Not even the heavily criticised Rhine derby between Cologne and Gladbach in November 2021 was an issue in this regard. Why? Because the 3G rules in Germany seemingly work and unvaccinated fans without a negative test aren’t allowed inside. Hopefully, no Bundesliga game becomes a superspreader event in the future.
The problem isn’t whether 80,000 football fans who are tested, vaccinated or recovered are going to stadiums and having a good time. The problem is more that still many people are not vaccinated because they don’t realise that doing so would better protect themselves and others. The higher the vaccination rate the lower the risk of infection in full stadiums, and therefore the higher the enjoyment for fans. There’s a reason for more people to finally get vaccinated.
This article was translated from German.