|After the game - walking to our tram|
|That whole glass wall is an LED screen you can see thru|
|The Alba Dancers were busy all night -|
the red head was the lead cow
Last night Lulu wanted to see the Berlin Alba Basketball Team and Mercedes Benz Arena. So we left our apartment at 5:30 PM - and caught Tram 10 straight to the arena. Something was very different. Until I saw the fans walking ahead of us - I thought the arena was closed. There was no big parking lot full of cars - and no noisy traffic as we walked from the tram to the arena. One fellow on the tram steps had 2 tickets for sale - lower level. He wanted 30 euros for the pair but he eventually settled for 20 euros. It was 6:10 PM and we already had our tickets and were entering the big beautiful Mercedes Benz Arena. The arena was built in 2008 and is the home of rock concerts - professional hockey - volleyball - handball - and the Berlin Alba (short for albatross).
Berlin Alba plays in the German League and the Euro League. They have the highest attendance average in Europe of 11,500 a game. They beat the NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs last year in a game - the only European team to do that. The arena holds 17,000 but they keep black curtains pulled over almost the entire upper deck.
At half time - I bought a Diet Coke - 3.50 euros - no ice - no lid - a straw. There were tons of pretzels and beer but I was strong.
There is an almost 4 feet high wall all the away around the court - about 10 feet back from the boundary lines. The teams' benches are behind that wall - like NHL hockey. The coach - 5 players - and referees are the only ones inside the wall. This city sure likes it walls. The walls also serve as video boards - as they flash during the whole game. What a distraction! During the whole game - a drum line was winding up the crowd - reminded me of Nuremberg Films.
"Mit Leib Und Seele"- With Heart and Soul is the Alba motto. It is pasted all over the arena. In the third quarter - a game broke out in the middle of a fight. A hard foul brought a brawl - causing the entire starting five players of the Alba being ejected - plus two from the Baskets Bonn. Berlin was 20 ahead and it got close for a bit - but the Baskets ran out of gas.
After the game - it was eerie again. At the doors - people were claiming things that security had taken from them before the game. Outside - there was no auto exhaust - everyone was quietly walking to the trams - subways - and trains. This was really ironic coming from the Mercedes Benz Arena. The Spree River - where people used to swim across to West Berlin - passed by the arena - along with a long section of The Wall left over.
We walked to our Tram which was waiting about 1/4 mile away. We expected a scrum - but instead there were empty seats - when the last seat filled - they pulled out. We were home by 9:30 PM.
Intro of the Berlin Alba
|The section behind the opposing team was walled off|
with a private entrance
|The Berlin Alba were formed in 1991|
|Note the wall around the floor|
|With Heart and Soul|
|Very few cars came to the Mercedes Benz Arena.|
People buy monthly transportation passes for
80 euros and can go anywhere in Berlin any time