DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga has once again honoured two clubs for their outstanding pitch quality this year. Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg’s ‘Volkswagen Arena’ received the “Pitch of the Year” award for the 2020-21 season, while Holstein Kiel’s ‘Holstein-Stadion’ was selected as the top pitch from Bundesliga 2.
The winners were chosen by a jury comprising members of the German Turfgrass Society (DRG e.V.), who are also on the DFL expert commission tasked with safeguarding pitch quality in Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 stadiums. The winners will be presented with the Greenkeeping Awards and certificates during the Gatekeeper’s Information Meeting, currently planned for October 2021.
The award-winning Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs are:
- VfL Wolfsburg – ‘Volkswagen Arena’
- Borussia Dortmund – ‘SIGNAL IDUNA PARK’
- FC Bayern München – ‘Allianz Arena’
- Holstein Kiel – ‘Holstein-Stadion’
- 1. FC Heidenheim 1846 – ‘Voith-Arena’
- SV Darmstadt 98 – ‘Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor’
Standards for pitch condition and characteristics are constantly rising. The “Pitch of the Year” award has been presented since 2013-14, based on the concept for stadium pitches concept that is distributed to all Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs.
About the evaluation system
This year, evaluation for the award was based on two blocks: the “sporting criteria” and the seasonal measured data from the in-house testing of stadium greenkeeping. The “sporting criteria” is geared towards the grading by the team captains of the participating clubs and the respective referees, who submit their verdict on the state of the pitch after Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 matches. For the second successive year, the jury did not make their customary visit to the stadiums, as on-site assessment was not possible due to the impact of the coronavirus.