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Mar 20, 2013

Dortmund fans concerned by price hikes

Borussia Dortmund fans have voiced their anger over a substantial increase in ticket prices for next month's Champions League quarter-final clash with Malaga.

The 65,829 tickets for the home tie sold out within minutes as Dortmund prepare to make their first appearance in the quarter-finals of the competition since 1997-98.

On Tuesday, Dortmund fans queued outside the club's main ticket office in a bid to secure the final 1,600 tickets made available, with some having camped overnight to ensure they were successful.

"That's typical for Dortmund," goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller told Ruhr Nachrichten. "It's sheer madness."

However, a number of Dortmund supporters have protested against the 20% price hike for the Malaga game.

Season-ticket holders had to choose an "international option" ahead of the current season if they wanted to be certain of securing tickets for Champions League games at the Westfalenstadion. Ticket prices were not stated, but it was said that prices could be increased for the knockout stages; even so, some believe the increase has been excessive.

Dortmund fan site schwatzgelb.de was among the first to give the fans a voice. Earlier this week, it published an article about how the supporters now felt neglected by the club.

The site - a major force behind the nationwide "Kein Zwanni" campaign, which has been protesting against Bundesliga ticket costs since 2010 - argued that supporters are being priced out of the game.

It was suggested in the article that the club, following back-to-back Bundesliga titles and this season's impressive Champions League run, has turned its back on their fans and the protests have spread to social media.

The club have yet to comment but, ahead of the current season, Dortmund CEO Aki Watzke had played down similar protests, saying: "For every ten protest letters we receive, we have 100 people placing new orders (for season tickets)."

Dortmund announced a €124.1 million turnover and €17.5 million pretax profit for the first six months of the 2012-13.

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