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Special fan clubs exhibition opens

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In good times. In bad times. For all times. The unconditional loyalty of the club's fans has been highlighted in Borussia Dortmund's first special exhibition at the BORUSSEUM its reopening. The name says it all: Fan Clubs at Borussia Dortmund. The curtain was raised at an opening gala on Wednesday evening.

There were Black & Yellow stories, Dortmund salt cake, Currywurst and frikadellen with potato salad; all in all, an opening gala very much in line with the sensibilities of those in attendance. BVB legends Siggi Held and Teddy de Beer mingled with fan club representatives, as did BVB treasurer Bernd Möllmann. One thing soon became clear: this is not just an exhibition for fan club members, but one for all fans, for all Black & Yellows, all members of the BVB family.

"The BORUSSEUM is my baby, so I am obviously proud of this first special exhibition since the reopening. Whenever I visit a fan club, I feel like I'm coming home. These are the places you feel the unconditional love for BVB. The fan clubs are part of the family, they have always done a lot of voluntary work, which is an essential part of what we're all about at BVB. Without volunteers, the entire BVB ecosystem would collapse," said deputy president Dr. Reinhold Lunow in his opening remarks.

The exhibition is Borussia Dortmund's way of saying thanks to the heart and soul of the club

Managing director Carsten Cramer commented: "If we ask the world what they associate with Borussia Dortmund, the first thing that comes to mind is the names of the players - but these are fleeting and interchangeable. What remains then is the yellow wall, the passion, emotion: the fans. It is remarkable how multi-faceted and diverse their dedication is. There are no limits. In this sense, the fans stand for what Borussia Dortmund is all about. Despite a growing full-time staff, voluntary work is appreciated by all. That will always be the case. We live from this sense of community."

So it is no coincidence that the first special exhibition after the reopening of the club museum is dedicated to the fans. It is Borussia Dortmund's way of saying thanks to the heart and soul of the club. After five months of intense work, which started back in the the summer, the successful realisation of the exhibition has been a joint effort by the fans affairs department as well as the BVB communications and marketing team, the BORUSSEUM, Fan-Projekt Dortmund e.V. and the fans. Without their stories, memories and materials - exhibited here on behalf of all BVB fan clubs - this exhibition could not have come to be. Borussia's fan community is so large, so widely spread out, so diverse in its make-up, and has grown so much over the past years and decades.

Borussia Dortmund has 160,000 members, 65,000 supporters across its fan clubs, 55,000 season ticket holders, a large active fan scene, around 200 international fan clubs around the world - and since autumn 2022, 1,000 official BVB fan clubs. The milestone was reached with the foundation of the 84/14er Borussen fan club. 

Whether large or small, regional or national, women or men, national or international, old or young, with or without a regular seat in the stadium: the fan clubs reflect the unique diversity of the BVB fan community. The goals and characteristics of the individual fan clubs could hardly be more different. But they all have one thing in common: they all stand for unparalleled commitment and unconditional loyalty, for creativity and continuity. The special exhibition, which has been lovingly crafted, now illuminates their history. From the first foundations to the present day, it provides insights into fan club life and the boundless ways that the Black & Yellow flag is flown across the globe.

The first fan club was BVB-Club Dröschederfeld von 1968

"I am proud of what my colleagues have achieved in their work with the club's fans, but above all of what the fan clubs have been doing for decades in terms of voluntary work and social engagement, passion and loyalty, not to mention supporting the team. Seeing the results of all the work that's been put in will be a real treat for lots of people," said Björn Hegemann, head of the fan affairs department. Sarah Hartwich, head of the BORUSSEUM, added: "We had definitely been looking forward to this evening, because we have worked with heart, soul and a lot of attention to detail. We have not yet had a temporary exhibition in this form, in which so many people from different fields have come together to participate. This is the first, but it certainly won't be the last. The BORUSSEUM was largely created by the fans, so it is only logical that the first special exhibition is dedicated to them. The fans should feel at home here. Because without fans, Borussia Dortmund would be so much poorer.''

BVB fan clubs were first registered in 1986, by a far smaller dedicated team than today. It is mainly thanks to Petra Stüker and Fritz Lünschermann that it is possible to keep track of where and when each fan club was founded, stretching back decades. The first ever BVB fan club was BVB Club Dröschederfeld, founded in Iserlohn in 1968, which no longer exists today. The oldest fan club still in existence is Fan-Club Borussia Dortmund, which was founded in 1974 and was also the first to offer bus trips to away games.

The special exhibition "Fan Clubs at Borussia Dortmund" is offered in both German and English and will be on show until next year. Admission is included in the ticket for the permanent exhibition. The ticket costs €9, concessions €7 and €6 for club members. And a special tip for the Christmas season: the reduced price is also available for groups of 09 people or more, making it an ideal option for Christmas parties - also, but not only, for fan clubs. The BORUSSEUM is open daily from 9:00 to 18:30 CET (last admission 18:00).

Nils Hotze

More coverage of the exhibition will be included in the members' magazine BORUSSIA (published on 7 December 2022).