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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Mit Leib Und Seele - With Heart and Soul - and 7 Players Ejected From the Berlin Alba Game

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

Alba Dancers

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

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