Arminia Bielefeld

Arminia is the flagship of soccer in the northern Westfalen district, and despite various travails, have maintained an active following. Certainly when you think "elevators", Arminia is one of the teams that comes to mind.

The club was founded in 1905 by Emil Schroeder, who had long been active in various local cultural clubs. He and 14 other soccer fans met in the local restaurant "Modersohn" and decided on the name Bielefelder Fussball-Club Arminia and also on the colors of white-blue-black. By 1927, the club then settled on the name Deutscher Sportclub Arminia, and began several years of decent performance and Westfalen titles.

Throughout the 1960s, Arminia remained one of the stronger 2nd division clubs, finally achieving the jump into the Bundesliga in 1969/70. Although picked for immediate relgation, they managed to survive the 1st season in the top class. However, the next year would bring disaster and disgrace. 1972 brought one of the darkest episodes in Arminia and in German soccer history. The club relegated from the Bundesliga in the 1971-72 season, but were proven to have bribed opponents to gain points. As a result, several players were banned, all games were nullified.

Despite this disaster, the club persevered, and by the end of the 70s, was knocking on the door of promotion once again. The decade closed with a tremendous run through the 2.Liga, scoring 120 goals and promotion. This run lasted till the mid 1980s, which ended in relegation and financia collapse, which led all the way back to the 4th division. But the club once again straightened things out. Starting in 94, Arminia began a series of ladder climbs that went 4-3-2-1 straight into the Bundesliga.

The 1998-99 season is best described as tenacious. Arminia was one of the co-favorites, and by an large, they played decently. The reward for their consistent play was the title and immediate return to the top league. Although they remained a tough opponent, they fell short and were immediately relegated once again. Expectations were that the club would bounce back in the second division; instead they were almost relegated again. But the next year they went up - for one year. Then bounced back up in 2004. All you can say about Arminia is that they are a true elevator club, and the fans are along for the ride!

2009 ended 5 seasons in the top flight, matching their previous best run. It also might be remembered for the silliness of firing head coach Michael Frontzeck with 1 match to play, and trying to have old-timer Jörg Berger rescue the club in the last game.

Full Name Deutscher Sport-Club Arminia Bielefeld e.V.
City Bielefeld (Nordrhein-Westfalen). Pop: 323,000 (2002).
Address Melanchthonstr. 2, 33615 Bielefeld
Phone: (0521) 131415, 966110 Fax: (0521) 9661111
Colors White shirt, blue trim, blue shorts, white socks. Entirely green on the road.
Nickname Die Arminen.
Stadium Almstadion Capacity: 26,601 (14,300 seats)
Built in 1922, the original capacity was about 22,000, and through expansion reached 35,000 for the initial Bundesliga adventure (1971). Currently, due to sponsorship, it's known as the SCHÜCOARENA, which is pretty funny if you speak Spanish.
Tickets Very difficult to come by, given the small park. However, if you are visiting when Arminia is back in the 2.Liga, it shouldn't be too difficult. And since they are the perennial yo-yo, you have about a 50-50 chance that tickets will be available. Prices range from 9-36 euros (2005), with an extra fee for "category A" matches against popular clubs, such as Bayern, Schalke, Dortmund etc.
Supporters Strong support in the northern Westfalen region. Averaged 14,000 in 2004 (2.Liga), up to 23,000 in Bundesliga. Like most top clubs, there is an officially sponsored "Fan-Projekt". Theire is also a club sponsored Fan coordinating commitee, for fan clubs. Among the member clubs are some colorful names, such as "Blue Yankees", "Arminia Maniacs" and "Alm-Virus". Contact info is given on the official web site.
Foes Local rivals such as Paderborn, Ahlen and Gütersloh, although they're generally not in the same class.
Heroes Stefan Kuntz started his international career with Arminia, although he had more call-ups with Kaiserslautern and Beskitas. Midfielder Norbert Eilenfeldt and forward Bruno Labbadia were popular. Uli Stein was a solid and long serving keeper.
The "100 year Team", as voted by the fans:
Uli Stein - Günther Schäfer, Dieter Schulz, Thomas Stratos - Walter Claus-Oehler (first international, 2 caps in 1923) Frank Pagelsdorf, Thomas von Heesen, Norbert Eilenfeldt, Bernd Kirchner - Bruno Labbadia, Ewald Lienen
Manager: Ernst Middendorp
Zeroes The doofuses involved with the 1971 Bundesliga-Skandal.
Beer Krombacher is the current official sponsor. Past sponsors include Herforder-Pils is a regional favorite.
Pub Grub A stadium pub with "Kneipenatmosphäre", Alm-Terrasse was added in 2000.
The Net Official site is , nicely done and informative.

Recent History:

1963-64	(II)	Regionalliga West	11th
1964-65	(II)	Regionalliga West	5th
1965-66	(II)	Regionalliga West	10th
1966-67	(II)	Regionalliga West	3rd
1967-68	(II)	Regionalliga West	4th
1968-69	(II)	Regionalliga West	7th
1969-70	(II)	Regionalliga West	2nd
1970-71	(I)	Bundesliga		14th
1971-72	(I)	Bundesliga		18th
1972-73	(II)	Regionalliga West	11th
1973-74	(II)	Regionalliga West	14th
1974-75	(II)	2.Liga Nord		4th
1975-76	(II)	2.Liga Nord		9th
1976-77	(II)	2.Liga Nord		2nd
1977-78	(II)	2.Liga Nord		1st
1978-79	(I)	Bundesliga		16th
1979-80	(II)	2.Liga Nord		1st
1980-81	(I)	Bundesliga		15th
1981-82	(I)	Bundesliga		12th
1982-83	(I)	Bundesliga		8th
1983-84	(I)	Bundesliga		8th
1984-85	(I)	Bundesliga		16th
1985-86	(II)	2.Liga			4th
1986-87	(II)	2.Liga			9th
1987-88	(II)	2.Liga			20th
1988-89	(III)	Am.Oberliga Westfalen	2nd	
1989-90	(III)	Am.Oberliga Westfalen	1st	
1990-91	(III)	Am.Oberliga Westfalen	5th
1991-92	(III)	Am.Oberliga Westfalen	4th
1992-93	(III)	Am.Oberliga Westfalen	3rd
1993-94	(III)	Am.Oberliga Westfalen	3rd
1994-95	(III)	Regionalliga W/SW	1st
1995-96	(II)	2.Liga			2nd	
1996-97	(I)	Bundesliga		14th
1997-98	(I)	Bundesliga		18th
1998-99	(II)	2.Liga			1st	
1999-00	(I)	Bundesliga		17th
2000-01	(II)	2.Liga			13th	
2001-02	(II)	2.Liga			2nd	
2002-03	(I)	Bundesliga		16th
2003-04	(II)	2.Liga			2nd
2004-05	(I)	Bundesliga		13th
2005-06	(I)	Bundesliga		13th
2006-07	(I)	Bundesliga		12th
2007-08 (I)     Bundesliga		15th
2008-09 (I)     Bundesliga		18th
2009-10	(II)	2.Liga			7th
2010-11 (II)    2.Liga			18th
2011-12 (III)	3.Liga	

(c) Abseits Guide to Germany