Polytan soccer court with PolyPlay S and the BVB logo
A football legend encourages people to play football and allows talent to flourish in Dortmund
Dortmund knows how to honour football heroes, most recently the legendary midfielder Max Michallek, a role model for Borussia Dortmund (BVB) in the 1940s and 50s, both on and off the pitch. It is not certain whether his nickname – “The Spider” – was because of his strikingly long legs or the fact that he could pull the strings in the game like no other. He won the German Championship twice with BVB – before the Bundesliga was established. Michallek played 292 Oberliga games and 22 Championship finals in BVB kit.
Sited near to Borsigplatz, a memorial was dedicated to him to mark what would have been his 100th birthday in 2022. He grew up there, and it’s where he learned to play football. After all, the BVB’s heart still beats on Borsigplatz, where Championship and Cup victories have traditionally been celebrated on the large roundabout. The club was founded in its immediate vicinity and was firmly connected to the neighbouring Borsigplatz district until the 1950s.
Since the spring, a steel statue of the BVB legend has stood on a carbon plinth – as a nod to the city’s industrial past – in the rear courtyard between Oesterholzstraße 44 and 54, which is now officially called Max Michallek Platz. This installation is the final element of major modernisation works in the West Borsig district, where almost 830 apartments have been constructed by the real estate company VIVAWEST. To improve residents’ quality of life, the buildings around Max Michallek Platz have been given a new lease of life with redesigned entrances, spacious balconies and artistically designed facades dominated by black and yellow – BVB’s club colours. The buildings’ walls are adorned with various likenesses of Dortmund’s iconic player, as well as some of his legendary sayings.
The official opening was dubbed “The Place for New Things”, with the aim of revitalising the Borsig district. There is a Polytan soccer court right in the middle. Polytan designed it in consultation with VIVAWEST and BVB, installed it in cooperation with HVG Grünflächenmanagement GmbH. A soccer court is a pitch for small areas, fully equipped with synthetic turf systems or synthetic surfaces, goals, barriers and ball nets.
Admittedly, a soccer court had always been planned from the outset in Dortmund. The idea is to encourage children and young people to learn and practise playing football on the street, so to speak. Featuring the BVB logo, it is equipped with our robust and durable PolyPlay S all-round surface in slate grey. This not only reflects the urban character of the area but also pays homage to BVB’s club colours.
Max Michallek Platz – including an elaborately designed soccer court – will serve as a meeting venue and sports facility. An accompanying fundraising campaign will also make it possible to host football tournaments, holiday camps and neighbourhood parties there.
Jan-Henrik Gruszecki, Head of Strategy & Culture at Borussia Dortmund, shares his initial thoughts: “Football brings people together – and that is particularly true at Borsigplatz. It is lovely to see that such a successful football pitch has been installed here, so close to BVB’s birthplace and which will bring many people together.” And perhaps most importantly, BVB’s future stars can now grow up exactly where BVB legend Max Michallek first learned to kick a ball around.