Darmstadt 98 got promoted to the Bundesliga for the 2023/24 season after ending as runners-up in the 2nd division last term.
The 2023/24 Bundesliga will be the 61st season of the Bundesliga, Germany’s premier football competition. It will begin on the 18th of August 2023 and will conclude on the 18th of May 2024.
Bayern Munich are currently the 11-time consecutive defending champions.
18 teams will participate in the 2023/24 edition of the Bundesliga. Schalke 04 and
Hertha BSC got relegated last season, while the newly promoted sides are FC Heidenheim and Darmstadt 98.
Stuttgart retained their top-flight status after defeating Hamburg in the 2023 promotion/relegation Play-offs.
Note: While in many European leagues the top three teams are automatically promoted and the bottom three are relegated, Germany’s top two tiers only have two automatic movers between the divisions, while a two-legged play-off system is used to determine whether a third club stays up or goes down.
In Germany, the teams who finish 16th in the Bundesliga and third in Bundesliga 2 contest the promotion/relegation play-off.
The first leg is played at the home of the Bundesliga side and the second leg is played at the home of the Bundesliga 2 team. The winner over two legs claims Bundesliga status in the season that follows.
The play-off was re-introduced to the Bundesliga in 2008/09. It had previously been used between 1981 (the introduction of a single-division Bundesliga 2) and 1991 (the integration of East German clubs following reunification).
Here, FootballOrbit looks at the two newly promoted Bundesliga sides for the upcoming season.
FC Heidenheim secured promotion to the top flight by winning the second division. They will play in the Bundesliga for the first time in their history.
Fully known as FC Heidenheim 1846, the club is based in the city of Heidenheim, Baden-Württemberg. It was founded on the 1st of January 1846 and plays at the 15,000 capacity Voith-Arena.
The club’s President is Holger Sanwald, while the manager is Frank Schmidt.
Heidenheimer SB played in the Amateurliga Württemberg (III) from 1963 to 1975 and again from 1976 to 1979. Regional cup wins led to the team’s participation in the opening round of the DFB-Pokal (German Cup) in 1975, 1978, and 1980, before the side slipped into lower level competition.
The club has since recovered, and in 2004, advanced to the Oberliga Baden-Württemberg. A successful season finish in 2008 saw the club get promoted to the Regionalliga Süd.
Having simultaneously won the Württemberg Cup, Heidenheim was allowed to participate in the first round of the DFB-Pokal in the following season, where the team lost 0-3 to VfL Wolfsburg.
In 2009, they finished first in the Regionalliga Süd and got promoted to the 3rd division.
After 5 seasons in the third tier — with the club always finishing in the upper half of the table — Heidenheim won the league in 2013/14, and earned promotion to the 2nd division for the first time.
In the 2019/20 season, the club finished third to play against the 16th-placed Bundesliga club, Werder Bremen, in the promotion-relegation play-offs.
However, the tie ended in a 2-2 draw on aggregate, as they lost on the away goals rule to stay in 2. Bundesliga.
On the final matchday of the 2022/23 season, Heidenheim managed to score two goals in the stoppage time to win 3-2 against Jahn Regensburg, in which they finished top of the table ahead of Darmstadt on goal difference and were promoted to the Bundesliga for the first time in their history.
SV Darmstadt 98
SV Darmstadt 98 got promoted after ending as runners-up in the 2nd division last term. They return to the Bundesliga after a 6-year absence.
Fully known as Sportverein Darmstadt 1898 e.V., it is based in Darmstadt, Hesse. The club was founded on the 22nd of May 1898 as FC Olympia Darmstadt.
Early in 1919, the association was briefly known as Rasen-Sportverein Olympia before merging with Darmstädter Sport Club 1905 on 11 November that year to become Sportverein Darmstadt 98.
Their home ground is Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor which has a 17,810 capacity. The President is Klaus Rüdiger Fritsch, and the head coach is Torsten Lieberknecht.
Olympia played as a lower table side in the Westkreisliga between 1909 and 1913. In the late 20s and early 30s, the club played as SV Darmstadt in the Kreisliga Odenwald and Bezirksliga Main-Hessen, Gruppe Hesse, but struggled to stay in top flight competition.
In 1933, German football was reorganized under the Third Reich into 16 premier divisions known as Gauligen. Darmstadt was not able to break into upper league play until 1941 when they joined the Gauliga Hessen-Nassau, Gruppe 2.
Their stay was short-lived and they were relegated after their second season of play at that level. By 1944/45 the division had collapsed in the face of the advance of Allied armies into Germany.
Darmstadt enjoyed a long run as a second division team through the 50s and then again from the time of the formation of the Bundesliga in 1963 on into the 70s.
However, they were never better than a lower to mid-table side until they finally managed a breakthrough in 1973 with a Regionalliga Süd championship and participation in the promotion rounds for the Bundesliga, where they finished a distant second to Rot-Weiss Essen.
They eventually managed two seasons in the Bundesliga (1978/79 and 1981/82). They narrowly missed a third turn in the top league in 1988 when they lost in a lengthy relegation-promotion play-off to Waldhof Mannheim in penalty shoot-out of the third match between the two clubs.
In the following years, Darmstadt escaped relegation to the Amateur Oberliga Hessen (III) in 1991 when Essen was refused a 2. Bundesliga licence for financial reasons.
However, by 1997, they had themselves become victims of financial mismanagement, slipping to the third and fourth divisions.
After winning the 2010/11 Regionalliga Süd in dramatic fashion, Darmstadt were promoted to the 3rd division.
In the 2012/13 season, the club was initially relegated but their fiercest rivals Kickers Offenbach were refused a 3. Liga licence due to going into administration and were relegated to the Regionalliga instead.
Subsequently, Darmstadt took Offenbach’s place.
In 2013/14, having finished third in league and thus gaining entry into the promotion-relegation play-offs, Darmstadt defeated Arminia Bielefeld in the second leg through away goals after losing 1-3 in the first leg at home to secure promotion to 2. Bundesliga for the first time in 21 years in dramatic circumstances.
In the following season, Darmstadt secured the second-place position in the league and therefore promotion to the Bundesliga after a 33-year absence. This was the second consecutive promotion for the team.
Moreso, the club reached the Round of 16 of the 2015/16 DFB Pokal.
In 2016/17, they got relegated to the 2nd division, where they finishing 10th in the league.
In the 2022/23 season, Darmstardt secured automatic promotion to Bundesliga by beating FC Magdeburg 1-0 at home.