Let's talk about FC Schalke 04. To be more precise, their old Glückauf-Kampfbahn. For 45 years straight, this was the home ground of the eternal top team. It has seen a lot of successes, but also some very deep lows. Since 1973, the stadium has to be content with lower league football.
1927 can be considered to be a very joyous year in Gelsenkirchen. That's when the construction of the current Glückauf-Kampfbahn started. Schalke 04 was one of the bigger teams in Germany at that time already and they deserved a stadium with the same presence, look and feel. Initially the arena would only contain standing areas, as this was considered to be suited for the working class people (all in all the biggest fanbase of Schalke). But just before the stadium was finalised, it was decided to foresee 1200 seatings as well.
The stadium had an official capacity of 34.000. But in 1931, the team managed to get 70.000 people in during a game against the neighbouring Düsseldorf. Sadly enough, not too long after that the stadium would be completely destroyed during WWII. After the war, the Glückauf-Kampfbahn was more or less restored into its original state and Schalke could enjoy playing there until 1973.
It goes even further. The most successful years of the club happened in this stadium. Schalke became the German champion seven times - all in this stadium - and won the German cup five times, of which twice in this stadium. It also won the Landespokal Westfalen twice here. Plenty of trophies. But the club had grown so much that a new stadium was only the logical next step. That became a fact in 1973, when Schalke moved to the Parkstadion. However, the Glückauf-Kampfbahn would still host youth games and games of the B team.
But still the story is not completely over. DJK Teutonia Schalke-Nord can call themselves the proud player of this wonderful stadium. And already for quite some time now. After WWI (1918), football in Gelsenkirchen would form a mental way out for a lot of youngsters. And since 1920, the name of DJK started passing by left and right. Officially the team was created in 1921, after merging into one big team out of all the Deutsche Jugendkraft teams.
In 1934 DJK was dissolved by the leading powers in the country at that time, but luckily enough they picked up where they left off in 1946. Up until 1974, the club would play at several locations in the city of Gelsenkirchen, before they finally moved to the more or less vacated Glückauf-Kampfbahn.
DJK Teutonia Schalke-Nord still plays here to this day, even though they had some worries in 2006. That year the stadium was reformed into an open monument for the World Cup tournament in Germany and Teutonia had to play elsewhere for a while. They didn't even have any certainty they could return to their actual home ground. Fortunately enough, the club was able to return and everyone can still very much enjoy this beautiful historical monument. Even though it's a little bit reduced compared to its original state.
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