The Bergischer HC is a handball club in the German Bundesliga. Visiting one of their home matches requires a bit of additional preparation. As the club has been founded as a fusion of a Solingen and a Wuppertal team, they still alter their home match arena between these two cities. Furthermore, they sometimes expand their territory slightly and play scattered matches in Dusseldorf.
In June 2023, my wife and I visited the very last home match of the 2022-23 season, played at the Wuppertal home venue of the team, the Uni-Halle (sometimes also Unihalle). The opponnt was HC Erlangen. Neither of the teams were facing a potential championship, European competition qualification or the risk of being relegated, so that we expected an enjoyable and fair match before summer break.
Uni-Halle Wuppertal – Location & Traffic
The Uni-Halle is a multi-purpose venue in the South of Wuppertal. It got its name as it is part of the Wuppertal University (Bergische Universität) grounds. There is a bus station (buses 615, 645) not too far away from the arena. In addition, University facility parking is free. There is also some street parking. Regardless how you reach the venue (if you don’t park really next to it), it will require walking uphill and downhill. This may be bothering, especially if you have mobility limitations. As the later you arrive the more you have to walk, you should not arrive too short before the match.
Uni-Halle Wuppertal – Arena & Ticket Situation
The Uni-Halle has been opened in 1987. The arena is roughly shaped like an octagon and has a capacity of some 4,100 people. There has been intense renovation in 2013, which did not upgrade the comfort, but just technical faciltieis. While the arena is beautifully located on the Griffenberg hill and the Bergischer HC does some nice catering close to the entrance, the arena as such feels a bit of narrow. My wife and I also got confused how to reach our seats, as the club is blocking parts of the aisle around the arena for hospitality.
For some very attractive opponents, the Bergischer HC moves to the larger arenas in Dusseldorf. Nonetheless, the club is popular and you might not be able to go for tickets with a very short term perspective. We had two seats in section Y, priced 23 EUR. Unfortunately, the star-alike arrangement of seats lead to the situation that we had a really limited view on the field, including that fact that the view on one goal was completely. Especially as we haven’t been notified about that before (during the booking process or at least by a remark on the ticket), this was definitely below our expectations.
Uni-Halle Wuppertal – Atmosphere
Overall the Bergisches Land region, after which the Bergischer HC is named, loves handball. Apart from that club, VfL Gummersbach and their Schwalbe Arena are one of the most traditional handball teams in Germany. Overall, the atmosphere in Wuppertal was nice, but did not reach the feel of some other arenas I have been to. This might also be due to the weird layout of the arena and the fact that Erlangen just had very limited away support.
However, towards the end of the match, the home crowd got really unfair and even hissed and booed on the opponents and the referees. I felt that this was absolutely unnecessary and unfair in a season closing match. The Bergischer HC is also running a video screen. Unfortunately, during our match, it was just used for advertisement and did not give a chance to have a view on the restricted view areas.
Uni-Halle Wuppertal – Food & Shopping
During our match, there was basic barbecue and drink catering outside the arena. I would have expected some more options, but overall, this was fine, the people enjoyed the lovely atmosphere. Inside the arena, there was just one additional food booth with sandwiches. While that one worked rather well, getting new drinks was a mess. The rationale for that was majorly that the booths were rather large compared to the number of people working there. Thus, breaking the line was a very frequently used strategy by experienced visitors, which I felt to be very bothering. The prices for food and drinks were fine. With a stamp you can leave the arena to the outdoors catering.
Bergischer HC at Uni-Halle Wuppertal – My View
I love watching handball and I absolutely respect and like the development of the Bergischer HC during the last years. Unfortunately, the Uni-Halle Wuppertal is simply outdated and leads to challenges, which reduce the experience of watching Handball Bundesliga. That’s really a bit of a shame.
Here are all my postings related to Wuppertal:
Stadiums & Arenas
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