Beer and loads of space – VfL Wolfsburg’s desperate effort to get fans through the gates

The last time VfL Wolfsburg competed in Europe they played in front of a sellout crowd, but this time around the team from the car city are struggling to sell their tickets. Obviously the name of the opponent and the competition have some bearing on that. Last time around VfL competed in the quarter final of the Champions League against Real Madrid back in the 2015/16 season. Now, however, the opponents name in Thursday’s Europa League fixture is PFK Oleksandrija, a team that most fans haven’t heard about before.

A reason for the Wolves failing to sell more than a meager 10,000 tickets might be the fact that the tie kicks off at 2100 CET. The late shift at the local Volkswagen plant doesn’t end before 22.30 CET, and the night shift starts its work at the same time. Many workers, it turns out, are prevented from watching the match due to the kick off time.

Team captain Josuha Guilavogui showed some understanding, but begged for more support from the fans when he was interviewed by Kicker:

“It’s understandable. But, it would be a shame. Everybody wanted us to play in the Europa League. This sort of thing doesn’t come around every year.”

Social media campaign

The club’s Twitter account launched a social media campaign in order to get more fans through the gates. At first the club tempted stadium goers with the fact that beer is going to be served during the match (that wasn’t the case three years ago).

Furthermore, the club stated that claustrophobic fans could safely attend the match, as there was plenty of space available in the stadium.

It remains to be seen whether those claustrophobic fans with a fondness for beer manage to persuade themselves to watch the match, or if there are only around 10,000 people in attendance on Thursday.

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 33-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.

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