"Freedom for the North Stand?" Yes! But only with a code of conduct!
Though we have been playing at the BORUSSIA PARK since the 2004/2005 season, it will still be a little while before Borussia's new home becomes a seething cauldron of emotions in the old tradition. This holds true for all areas, but most of all, of course, for the North Stand. For it is here that the heart of the new stadium beats!
Apart from the fact that the capacity of the 'singing area' is three times larger than at the old Bökelberg ground (22,500 vs. 8,500), it offers other new features in the standing area of Block 13 to 18 that might appear quite commonplace at first.
However, they are anything but commonplace. Even before the construction phase was completed, the Stadium Working Group, made up of representatives of the club, the Borussia Fan Project and the supporters club, had completely redrafted the basic framework and general conditions that were to apply to the new North Stand and fought hard for the fans' interests. Supporters are therefore no longer caged in, as the fences between the blocks in the standing area have been lowered to a height of 1.20m. In addition, freedom to move between the blocks is now only slightly restricted. No stewards are posted at the top and bottom of the stairways to keep them clear, the fence at the front is just 1m high and the net required by the German Football Association (DFB) hangs only in front of the centre block (No.16)! All this did not simply come about through some "law of nature". It happened because the supporter liaison officers vigorously advocated these measures and spoke out loudly on behalf of all fans! This new approach requires the supporters in the North Stand to exercise self-discipline.
This means that supporters should move from one block to another as little as possible and that the aisles should be kept clear without anyone having to intervene.
What it doesn't mean is that those people who have not obtained tickets for the centre blocks (15, 16 and 17) are now free to gain access to them by taking a 'detour' over the fence. It is in no one's interest for Block 16 to become so overcrowded that the supporters there cannot see the game and (most importantly of all) are in danger of being crushed or suffocated, while Blocks 13 and 18 remain virtually empty. And it most certainly doesn't mean that fans now have a licence to sit permanently atop the fences or throw cigarette lighters, chapsticks, etc., onto the pitch!
"Freedom for the North Stand" does not mean "anarchy in the block!"