Augsburg offers its sport enthusiasts what they would expect — thriving football (soccer) and ice hockey teams. A less known fact is that it’s the location of the world’s first whitewater canal that serves as a venue for many international competitions.
Football / Soccer
Augsburg sports would not be complete without the local football club, the FC Augsburg. This team was founded in 1907 as the Fußball-Klub Alemania Augsburg.
FC Augsburg generally plays in the third tier Bundesliga, although they have occasionally advanced to the second in the 1970s and early 1980s. While not always successful at their game, the team can boast about its home stadium, the state-of-the-art Impuls Arena (Bürgermeister-Ulrich-Straße), built in 2009 for 45 million euros.
The Impuls is the host of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. With a capacity of over 30,000 (expected to be upgraded to over 49,000 after new construction), you can check out the FC Augsburg here.
Before their new home, the FC Augsburg played its matches at the historic Rosenaustadion from 1951.
Another eternally popular Augsburg sport is ice hockey. The local team is the Augsburger Panthers, who are the oldest club in the entire country dating back to 1878.
Their matches routinely draw thousands of fans at their home stadium of Curt-Frenzel-Stadion (Senkelbachstraße 2). This stadium is a bit of a hybrid. While it is partially covered, it is not truly an indoor rink because its sides are exposed to the outside elements due to the lack of walls.
White Water Rafting
While you certainly expect to find the obligatory football and ice hockey teams here, there is one Augsburg sport that may surprise you. The city is actually the home of the world’s first artificial whitewater course, known as the Eiskanal.
This man-made canal had its beginnings during the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, when the Lech River dam had a diverted canal to protect against river ice. These days, the Eiskanal draws many to Augsburg for whitewater rafting competitions, as well as recreational whitewater kayaking.
It has made its place in history as the inspiration for at least a dozen other such courses spread around the world, like such Olympic cities as Barcelona, Spain and Sydney, Australia.