Fears over Tartan Army fan zone chaos as Stuttgart main site not showing Scotland game

Chaos is expected in Stuttgart after up to 100,000 Tartan Army who are descending on the city were told the Scotland game won't be shown at the city's biggest fan zone.

Tens of thousands of Scots have already arrived in the southern German city, despite only 10,000 tickets being made available for our clash against Hungary on Sunday.

The city has organised four fan zones for ticketless fans who want to soak up the Euros atmosphere - but officials have said the Scotland match will only be screened in the smaller ones.

The Schloss Platz fan zone - which is by far the largest holding 30,000 people - will instead screen Germany’s game against Switzerland, which kicks off at the same time.

An official in Stuttgart said the Scots would be accommodated at three small fan zones in the city centre - but the area at Schillerplatz only holds 2,000 people, only around 2,500 people can fit in the fan zone at Marktplatz and there's space for just 1,500 people at the Karlsplatz.

Officials say another 'viewing area' at the Stadt Garten (Town Garden) which could hold 16,000, will be set up for the Tartan Army - but many punters are concerned about the facilities and worried there still won't be enough space for the Scots.

Thousands of ticketless Scots have descended onto the city
Thousands of ticketless Scots have descended onto Stuttgart. Pictured are the Paisley Tartan Army who have arrived in the city. -Credit:Ross Turpie / Daily Record

One Scotland fan from Peebles who turned up early in Stuttgart city centre said the Tartan Army had been ‘relegated’ by the event organisers.

After viewing the different facilities open to Scottish and German fans, retired bank manager Gordon Collin, 68, said: "The Scots have been relegated to a minor city park. To my mind, the place is totally inadequate for the number of fans we expect to come. A lot will turn up here and turn away in disgust.”

Son Craig Collin, 31, who works at Stobo Castle, agreed. He said: ”It is very poor. I experienced the huge numbers of Scots in Cologne but I think Stuttgart has badly underestimated the number of Scots coming. The facilities here are nothing like they are for the Germans’ fan zone.”

Yesterday, the big screen due to show the Scotland game had not even arrived. The small park, surrounded by offices and the city’s university, had scant food and drink facilities.

Colin Findlay (pictured fourth from left) and the Motherwell Tartan Army have travelled without tickets
Colin Findlay (pictured fourth from left) and the Motherwell Tartan Army have travelled without tickets -Credit:Ross Turpie / Daily Record

Colin Findlay, 54, a civil servant from Motherwell, said: "I can understand that it is in Germany so they want to see the Germany game, but I think they have totally underestimated the amount of Scottish people and Hungarians too who have come across without tickets.

"I'm glad they have tried to come with a contingency, but come on, the capacity is not going to be enough. No chance. If they don't come up with a better solution we're going to have to amble around and try to use our personality, and appear friendly, to find somewhere suitable to watch it.

"We didn't have tickets so we knew we were coming over and taking a bit of a chance but if this isn't sorted we're going to need to look for somewhere with a lot of Scotland fans and a bit of atmosphere. It's very disappointing."

Anne Ritchie
Anne Ritchie -Credit:Ross Turpie / Daily Record

Ann Ritchie, 55, a solicitor from Edinburgh, said: "I'm really surprised that the main fan zone won't be showing the game. They know there are going to be a lot of Scots here without tickets for the game.

"I just hope they find a suitable solution. There are going to be thousands here so I hope this alternative solution is big enough - but I'll be very surprised if it is."

Gerry Gahan, a nurse from Paisley, was sitting having a beer near the main fan zone with father and son David Birnie, 45, and Brodie Birnie, 21, both from Leith.

Brodie Birnie with dad David and Gerry Gahan pictured outside the fan zone
Brodie Birnie with dad David and Gerry Gahan pictured outside the fan zone -Credit:Ross Turpie / Daily Record

The 59-year-old said: "I think it is very short-sighted. They only had to look at the number of people in Cologne that were there without tickets. They need to come up with a better solution - even if it means they dedicate a number of pubs in the city that Scotland fans can watch the game from too."

Ian Anderson, 64, and his two sons Craig, 37 and Ross, 38, were eating a pizza near the fan zone entrance on Friday afternoon. Ian and Ross have tickets for the match, unlike Craig who said: "The fan zone situation is really worrying for me. The organisation has been a shambles. Even if we could just have dedicated pubs that will be showing the game - they need to sort something for us."

Ian Anderson with sons Ian and Ross outside the fan zone
Ian Anderson with sons Ian and Ross outside the fan zone -Credit:Ross Turpie / Daily Record

Many Scots were arriving into Stuttgart by train on Friday and Claire Butter, a financial advisor from Aberdeen, and her son Charlie Jamieson, 10, had just rolled in from Cologne.

Last Wednesday, the city of Cologne effectively had to create an emergency fan zone beside the river Rhine when they realised the sheer volume of Scots arriving - and Claire insists something similar must be set up on Sunday.

Claire Butter and son Charlie Jamieson
Claire Butter and son Charlie Jamieson -Credit:Ross Turpie / Daily Record

The 44-year-old said: "They will need to sort something out for the thousands who don't have tickets. In Cologne they set up a big viewing area with English commentary for us. They need to set something like that up here."

Stephane Charrier, a student advisor from Glasgow, had also just come off the train when he was approached by the Record. The 34-year-old added: "People have made a lot of effort to get here. I get that it's the home team - but I hope the Scotland fans have proven that they deserve the opportunity to be able to watch this game together and we get something organised for Sunday."

Stephane Charrier, from Glasgow, with pals Steven Gladman, Iain Sharp, Chris Morrison and Blair Strain
Stephane Charrier, from Glasgow, with pals Steven Gladman, Iain Sharp, Chris Morrison and Blair Strain -Credit:Ross Turpie / Daily Record

Organisers in Stuttgart insist they have adequately planned for Sunday night, but have advised fans to get to the viewing area early.

Event organiser Christian Eisenhardt told BBC Scotland: "We are well prepared and we think we have enough capacity for the Scotland fans. We have been working every day for the past year on Euro 2024. We have five matches here in Stuttgart and we believe all fans will be able to watch the matches."

He added: "We hope we have a good match on Sunday and that Scotland can go through to the next round."

The Scottish FA, Stuttgart Council and UEFA have been contacted for comment.

Don't miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond - Sign up to our daily newsletter here.