St. Pauli Football
Everywhere in the world, you can encounter the skull and bones symbol of FC St. Pauli. The “Jolly Roger” stands not only for Hamburg's second most successful football club but also for an entire district and the attitude that is deeply connected with this special place. The area by the Elbe river stands for entertainment, nightlife, eroticism and a life outside society's norms. The famous Reeperbahn street, the Landungsbrücken piers and the Fischmarkt markets are among the most visited sites in Hamburg and the DOM fun fair is the largest of its kind in Germany.
You'll never walk alone
Right in the middle of all this towers Millerntor stadium: home to FC St. Pauli. The location reflects in the crowds that are drawn to every St. Pauli game: it's safe to say that the younger and more liberal inner-city crowd favours their boys in brown over the more traditional and suburban HSV team. Even lagging behind HSV's national and international success doesn't affect the unwavering support for St. Pauli: the team has a whole host of enthusiastic supporters. Ever a mainstay of Germany's second division, the club's merchandise has been selling like hot cake for years. What's more, the 29,546 stands and seats of Millerntor arena are almost always sold out and, regardless of the score, the atmosphere is unparalleled. Even when times are rough, fans stand by their slogan: “You'll never walk alone”. After all, it's the little things that St. Pauli fans are proud of: sensationally defeating Bayern München in 2002 officially gave the club the tongue-in-cheek moniker of “Weltpokalsiegerbesieger” (winner against the Intercontinental Cup's winner). It is this very special attitude that earned the club its international reputation. After all, which other European second division club can claim to have a Brooklyn-based supporters club?
Football and politics
St. Pauli isn't your everyday football club. Because of the urban, diverse and colourful crowds at home games, the club has always been a little more open to progressive political ideas than most of their opponents. Everyone is welcome at the games and the many bars and pubs that screen live games. No wonder that Millerntor stadium doubles as a popular location for art, music and fundraiser events. The Fanladen project provides the space for supporters to organise self-help groups, meetings and special programmes for minorities.