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Borussia Dortmund request legal review of stadium admission limits

Borussia Dortmund's SIGNAL IDUNA PARK at night. (© CPD Football)
Borussia Dortmund's SIGNAL IDUNA PARK at night. (© CPD Football)

Bundesliga football club Borussia Dortmund will have the restrictions on the admission of spectators to outdoor sporting events under the current Corona Protection Ordinance of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia reviewed by means of summary proceedings.

To this end, BVB are expected to submit an application for a preliminary order to be issued in the course of judicial review proceedings before the Higher Administrative Court of Münster tomorrow (Tuesday).

Borussia Dortmund believe that the current restrictions are unlawful. The club are convinced that the rules are in breach of the principle of proportionality and the principle of equal treatment. While events with high percentage-based capacity utilization (in some cases close to full capacity) can already be held nationwide in indoor areas (despite the comparatively higher risk of infection), the capacity of the largest open-air stadium in Germany – SIGNAL IDUNA PARK – is currently limited to 0.92 percent of the total capacity (81,365 spectators).

To this day, BVB had hoped in vain to come up with a similarly consensual and, of course, moderate solution, taking into account the pandemic, in dialogue with the state government – as is now possible in Saxony-Anhalt, Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate. Hans-Joachim Watzke, the club’s CEO, emphasised: “The next step is regrettable and the last resort for us. Ultimately, however, it is our job to protect Borussia Dortmund’s legitimate interests.”

Some 16,000 people have been vaccinated in BVB’s stadium during the past few months, and the club has a proven hygiene concept for games in front of fans.

In particular, the Bundesliga team does not consider the frequently cited political arguments regarding the risk of infection on arrival/departure routes to be convincing. Assessments toward the end of last year clearly showed, with a stadium capacity limit of 18 percent (15,000 spectators), that, for their own safety, the majority of the spectators arrived by car (10,000 parking spaces are available), by bicycle or on foot. This meant that extreme peaks on public transport, such as those which might be experienced in NRW several times a day – every single working day – and accepted by the state government, could be avoided. This is expressly consistent with findings from the Dortmund transport company DSW21.

(Borussia Dortmund)