A fan’s guide – the club from early doors to today
TSV (‘Tee-Ess-Fau’, known to locals as ‘Sechzig’), are very much Munich’s second club – but this didn’t stop them from providing a dramatic finish to the 2014-15 campaign, a stoppage-time goal from Kai Bülow maintaining Zweite status for Sechzig.
The crowd of 57,000 for the promotional play-off with Holstein Kiel indicates the depth of support this club of great tradition still attracts. In May 2016, 54,000 turned out to see TSV save the day again, a 1-0 win over Paderborn keeping the Die Löwen (‘The Lions’) in the second flight.
TSV were the city’s first representatives in the inaugural Bundesliga of 1963, the first to make a European final and the first to win a league title. This was all during the club’s golden age of the mid 1960s. Although the light blues have enjoyed a total of 20 seasons in the top flight, in modern times they were very much been the junior partners in the groundshare arrangement with Bayern.
As with many German clubs, TSV rose from a gymnastics association in the late 19th century. Favoured by the Nazi regime, working-class TSV made play-off finals in the 1940s but had to wait another 20 years before they shone again.
A cup win in 1964 was followed by a solitary European final, TSV losing in the Cup-Winners’ Cup to Bobby Moore’s West Ham. A year later came their first and only Bundesliga title, mercurial coach Max Merkel playing a 4-2-4 side with Rudi Brunnenmeier up front and folk hero Petar ‘Radi’ Radenković in goal. For decades, bars in Giesing displayed photos of this cult character, a Bundesliga winner in 1966.
It wasn’t to last. Runners-up in 1967, TSV faded fast, dropping as low as the regional amateur ranks by the early 1980s. Enjoying somewhat of a revival in the mid 1990s under disciplinarian coach Werner Lorant, TSV attracted the likes of Thomas Häßler and Davor Šuker and even claimed a Champions League spot in 2000.
Lorant then fell out with chairman Karl-Heinz Wildmoser, who further angered fans by groundsharing the Allianz Arena with Bayern. A bribery scandal saw Wildmoser’s, and TSV’s demise, stuck in the Bundesliga’s lower flight since 2004. Coming close to insolvency, TSV have twice been bailed out by Bayern, keen on preserving rental revenue at the Allianz, where the Löwen attracted an average 20,000 or so fans. Unless, of course, there was a dramatic promotional play-off.
The field of dreams – and the stands around it
TSV’s heart and home is the Grünwalder Stadion in Giesing, where they first played in 1911, moved from to share the Olympiastadion with Bayern in 1994 and returned to in 2017. In between, of course, both Munich clubs played at the Allianz Arena, built with each in mind, Sechzig fans taking over the Nordkurve, which is why Bayern’s occupy the south end today.
It was always an imbalanced arrangement, and once TSV dropped out of the Bundesliga in 2004 to take on the likes of Wacker Burghausen and Eintracht Trier in the Zweite, and one season became 13, Sechzig’s groundshare of a 70,000-capacity arena became ever more incongruous. The reserve side had been playing at the good old Grünwalder anyway.
Once the senior side was forcibly relegated to the fourth-tier Regionalliga in 2017, the move back was inevitable, not least because Bayern had bought co-ownership of the Allianz from cash-stricken TSV soon after it opened. Sechzig came back to Giesing, in the far south of the city. Their flatmates gone, Bayern duly painted all the seats in the Allianz red.
Despite their club’s predicament, many of the lion persuasion breathed a sigh of relief, anyway. Like many old grounds, theirs is revered, so much so that a Friends of Sechz’ger Stadion society is still very much active – a casual glance at its busy schedule reveals a monthly Zoom discussion, themed walks around Giesing and a summer get-together every June.
There’s much to cherish, of course. As well as the great TSV side from the 1960s, even Bayern’s back then, Beckenbauer, Müller and all, the Grünwalder was where the Monty Python team filmed their Philosopher’s Football Match, recruiting Kaiser Franz to play on the German side.
While TSV’s reserves were playing here, much changed at the Grünwalder. Restrictions imposed by the 3.liga reduced capacity to just over 10,000 in 2008. A year later, the City of Munich, which owns the stadium, agreed a budget for a considerable rebuild by 2012. The Grünwalder duly gained a modernised main stand and revamped Ostkurve. The Westkurve reopened more gradually, allowing for today’s capacity of 15,000.
Sechzig fans traditionally stand in the Westkurve, with its charming manual scoreboard still in place. Visiting supporters are allocated either the southern part of the standing Ostkurve, block Q, or, if fewer in number, sector A of the main stand, the Haupttribüne. Either way, the away entrance is at this south-east corner, allowing for easier passage to Wettersteinplatz tram stop, and not the closer, busier one of Südtiroler Straße.
The all-seated main stand has barely changed its outward appearance since 1925. Opposite, the seated Gegengerade is referred to as the Stehhalle, the ‘standing hall’. Old-school is the term you’re looking for.
Between their promotion to the 3.liga in 2020 and their filing for insolvency in January 2022, ambitious Türkgücü München also used the Grünwalder, also switching to the Olympiastadion. Regular tenants, though, are Bayern’s reserve side, who cannot play higher than the 3.liga. Their promising youngsters currently include Scottish defender Liam Morrison, capped at U-16, U-17 and U-19 levels.
Given Sechzig’s now seemingly long-term third-tier status, the city derby has been revived – perhaps not as some 1860 fans might have wished it.
Going to the stadium – tips and timings
The Grünwalder Stadion is next to Südtiroler Straße on tram line 25, an easy 15min hop from Hauptbahnhof main station via Wettersteinplatz, direct on U-Bahn U1, then change.
It’s not too far a walk from Wettersteinplatz either, the recommended option for visiting supporters on match days.
Buying tickets – when, where, how and how much
Each TSV home game is either a sell-out or close to full 15,000 capacity. Advance tickets are distributed through the office (Wed-Fri 9am-5pm) at the club’s training centre, at Grünwalder Straße 114 – actually just the other side of the stadium from the main road – and through the club website. Few, if any, will be available on the day.
Visiting supporters should tickets through their own club or those arriving on spec may be lucky and find match-day admission sold from the office where Grünwalder Straße meets Volckmerstraße on the south side of the stadium. For enquiries, contact tickets@ tsv1860.de.
It costs €16 to stand, and €25-€27.50 to sit in the sideline Gegengerade or Stehhalle. A seat in the Haupttribüne is €33. Children aged 5-13 are charged €9 to stand and €15-€16.50 to sit, certainly not cheap for third-tier football.
what to buy
Shirts, kits, merchandise and gifts
TSV operate two merchandise outlets: a small but well-stocked Fanshop (Mon-Sat 10am-6pm) by the Hofbräuhaus on narrow, cobbled Orlandostraße, No.8; and one at the club HQ at Grünwalder Straße 114 (Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 10am-2pm).
The current iteration of the first-team top is thick sky-blue stripes and thin white ones, black trim and white sleeves, the away shirt all black. Local insurance company die Bayerische provide the proud sponsoring. Among the lion-branded accessories, you’ll find a model of a garden gnome in a TSV top holding up the twin-towered Frauenkirche and a plug for the kitchen sink.
All the same, it’s quite light on cool retro gear – for that, consult the Friends of Sechz’ger Stadion site, whose Sechzger Stadion shopping bag is an affordable thing of beauty.
Where to Drink
Pre-match beers for fans and casual visitors
The traditional Sechzig bars in Giesing had to adapt to survive the club’s long stay away. Croatians run the Blue Adria bar right opposite the ground on Grünwalder Straße, done out in 1860 colours and displaying TSV iconography, a popular spot pre-match. This replaced the A1 Bistro, a former Sechzig haunt turned karaoke bar.
Next door, the otherwise featureless Café 23 screens games. Other age-old haunts are now either shisha bars or cheap Asian eateries.
On the corner of Candidstraße, by the north side of the stadium, the former beer-focused Wienerwald, is now Balkanwald, a superior, authentic Balkan grill restaurant at Tegernseer Landstraße 114. The beer is German, Spaten on draught, Franziskaner, Beck’s and Löwenbräu by the bottle.
If you’re just after a coffee, then the classic terrace konditorei Café Wetterstein by the U-Bahn station of the same name should do the trick. Be warned that it’s all cake and no beer – though you can add a little kick to your kaffee.