Ahead of their second consecutive season in the Bundesliga, SV Darmstadt 98 have announced plans to provide free season tickets for low-income fans.
After 33 years in the lower leagues, Darmstadt (known as « The Lillies » or « Die Lilien« ) won promotion to the Bundesliga at the end of the 2014/15 campaign. They survived by a comfortable margin last season – despite being tipped for relegation by many – and have now committed to providing top-flight tickets at zero cost to supporters who might not otherwise be able to afford them.
German sports magazine Kicker reports that fans can apply for free tickets as long as they can provide a social security card. These are available to low-income workers and pensioners, while children and adolescents from large families are also welcome to apply.
Darmstadt have a longstanding commitment to social responsibility, and already make considerable efforts to engage with fans on and off the pitch. This scheme represents a radical and proactive attempt to get supporters from all backgrounds to the stadium on matchday, and serves as a continuation of similar initiatives from Die Lilien‘s lower-league days. Hopefully, it will inspire other clubs to follow suit.
Source : Vice sports