Schalke to open an official fans’ cemetery

Ryan Bailey

Schalke: enabling graveyard games of five-a-side since 2012 (spiegel.de)
Schalke: enabling graveyard games of five-a-side since 2012 (spiegel.de)

FC Schalke fans who live and die by their club are being given the opportunity to literally live and die by their club with the opening of the official Schalke cemetery.

The Beckenhausen-Sutum cemetery, which overlooks the Veltins Arena, will include a dedicated space for die-hard (sorry) supporters from December. The Königsblauen-themed resting place is the size of half a football field and will include 1,904 graves, in reference to the club's year of foundation. It will be decorated to look like a stadium, with turf, full-size goals with mourner-friendly substitutes benches in them, and a Schalke crest made up of blue and white flowers.

Since it is already popular for fans to be buried in a royal blue coffin at Schalke-themed ceremonies, demand for the plots has been strong since the site was announced in July. According to daily newspaper The Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, the graves will cost €1,250 ($1,600) to reserve, and €125 ($160) per year thereafter for upkeep.

Schalke Fan Club Association vice chairman Rolf Rojek has already reserved plot number "04," and another loyal fan has called shotgun on number "215," in recognition of the date the Gelsenkirchen side won the UEFA Cup (May 21, 1997 or 21/5).

A fan celebrating at the future site of his grave (ksta.de)
A fan celebrating at the future site of his grave (ksta.de)

According to The Sun, many fans will have their burial plots moved to the new site (by relatives and not of their own accord, obvs) and some former club stars may even be laid to rest in the new "Fan Field" too:

Some long-dead fans will be reburied there at their relatives' request to honour their lifelong support of their beloved club.

There are also plans for Schalke legends of the past to be moved to the site, which will also serve as a memorial for the club and its fans. Schalke, known for their strong links with fans groups, will offer a number of free places to hard-up supporters.

Responding to the presumption that Schalke 04 is making money from death, a club statement has said: "Schalke 04 will not make any money from anyone's death."

The Bundesliga side will not make any profit from the venture as it says it does not want to do "business with death," but is endorsing the project as "the need for Schalke fans to have such a place exists."

Interestingly, Schalke isn't the first team to cater to its fans' post-life needs. Boca Juniors opened the first fan graveyard in 2006 and Hamburg followed suit in 2008.

  • Ryder Cup 2016: Get to Know the U.S. Team's 8 Automatic Qualifiers

    The eight automatic qualifying spots for the 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup team were finalized on Sunday at The Barclays, and we now know two-thirds of the team that will represent the red, white and blue at Hazeltine National in Chaska, Minnesota, on Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Jimmy Walker and Brooks Koepka all had spots locked up prior to The Barclays, but Brandt Snedeker, Zach Johnson and Barclays winner Patrick Reed all had to wait until Sunday to see if their spots were secure.

    Golf
  • Quick takeaways from Michigan: Keselowski's penalty is likely pointless

    • Brad Keselowski finished third in Sunday’s race at Michigan. Afterwards, his car failed the laser inspection station during NASCAR’s post-race inspection. If the Chase started this week he’d be tied for the top seed with Kyle Busch.

    From The Marbles
  • Colin Kaepernick says he'll continue to sit during national anthem

    San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick understood his national anthem protest would draw some attention and criticism. Kaepernick will continue to sit during the national anthem, he told 49ers reporters on Sunday. Chris Biderman, who covers the team for The Niners Wire, a part of the USA Today network, reported that Kaepernick addressed the team.

    Shutdown Corner
  • Former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt is a sports owner once again

    There aren’t many major league ownership reigns which ended more ignominiously than Frank McCourt’s reign as Dodgers owner. He was granted access to one of business’ most exclusive clubs — one which being a convicted criminal or even a Nazi sympathizer cannot get you kicked out of — and somehow got kicked out. The clear lesson from his saga was that saddling your team with debt, using it as your own private piggy bank and exercising bad judgment at every possible turn will not get you drummed out of baseball but, by gum, having it all go public in a divorce case sure as heck will. McCourt landed pretty safely, though. By sheer luck, his being kicked out of ownership coincided with the vast appreciation

    HardballTalk
  • Puck Daddy Summer Series: Weird Washington Capitals

    What can be said for the Capitals 1993-94 team calendar that hasn’t already been said about a JCPenney’s catalog from the 1990s? Rather than just go with the usual in-game action shot (or more recently snuggling up to dogs), the Caps took a hard-left when it came to the calendar and put the players in forced comfortable setting, like when you’re at a family reunion trying to care about the story of your third cousin’s Lasik surgery. While I don’t doubt the Caps went out and about to places in Baltimore and DC to spend their off-days, I do know for a fact Randy Burridge does hang out on above the right field scoreboard at Camden Yards as that was his assigned section for selling peanuts on game nights.

    Puck Daddy
  • Belichick on Kaepernick: 'Not here to talk political commentary'

    Other than allowing Tom Brady to pee on his territory, I wonder what the Patriots accomplished on Friday night when it came to their quarterback situation. It didn't feel like much. Really. What was established? That Brady is maniacal about his job? That he's also really, really good? That Jimmy Garappolo isn't? That he's still well behind the starter? Didn't everyone, most notably Bill Belichick, know all those things?  In other words, by playing Brady as much as they did, the Pats ‎proved almost nothing in Carolina. They certainly didn't do anything to get Garappolo closer to being ready for Arizona on Sept. 11. The only thing they accomplished was to scratch Brady's insatiable itch, and they

    CSNNE.com
  • Young fan cries tears of joy after getting Mike Trout's autograph

    One young Los Angeles Angels fan cried tears of joy after getting an autograph from superstar outfielder Mike Trout. Trout is out before the start of Sunday’s game signing autographs for some young fans. It’s tough to know exactly what the kid says to Trout, but strong lip readers at home can make out the phrase “my favorite player.” After getting his ball signed, the kid triumphantly raises his hands as he runs over and embraces his dad.

    Big League Stew
  • Sports Illustrated's Best Photos from The Barclays

    Sports Illustrated's best photos from the first leg of the 2016 FedEx Cup playoffs at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, NY. 

    Golf
  • Chargers sign Joey Bosa to four-year contract

    The San Diego Chargers have signed defensive end Joey Bosa to a four-year deal, the team announced on Monday afternoon.

    Sports Illustrated
  • Fiji offers land, title, passports to keep rugby sevens coach Ryan

    Fiji has ramped up overtures to sevens coach Ben Ryan giving him land and a chiefly title to keep the popular Englishman in the South Pacific island nation. Ryan has become the most venerated person in Fiji since guiding them to their first Olympic medal when they won the sevens gold in Rio earlier this month.

    AFP
  • Hamilton fights from 21st to third at Spa, keeps F1 championship lead

    Lewis Hamilton fought back from a 60-place grid penalty that resigned him to the back of the field to finish the Belgian Grand Prix in third place, ensuring he retains the lead of the Formula 1 drivers’ championship. Hamilton was forced to take three new power units over the weekend at Spa after issues earlier in the season meant he did not have enough components to get to the end of the season. Hamilton started the race from 21st on the grid, but rose up the order on the first lap after clashes further ahead involving Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen. Hamilton sat fifth before the race was red flagged so that repairs could be completed on a barrier damaged in a crash for Kevin

    MotorSportsTalk
  • Panthers acquire Browns punter who dogged it on touchdown return

    The Cleveland Browns traded punter Andy Lee to the Carolina Panthers, but this isn’t your everyday punter trade. First of all, the timing is fascinating. Not on the Panthers’ end; their expected punter, Mike Scifres, suffered a knee injury against the

    Shutdown Corner
  • Phil Jackson says his goal for Knicks last season was 35 wins

    Phil Jackson predicted the playoffs for the Knicks in 2014-15, and he’s again drumming up postseason buzz for 2016-17. Between, he was much more cautious. The Knicks president didn’t make any bold proclamations entering last season. But, somewhat after

    NBC Sports
  • The Phillies pulled Jeremy Hellickson back from trade waivers

    CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that a team claimed Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson on trade waivers, but the two clubs were unable to work out a deal. As a result, the Phillies pulled Hellickson back from trade waivers, which means he’s ineligible to be traded for the rest of the season. Hellickson, 29, has had a nice bounce-back season after three poor years from 2013-15. He’s 10-8 with a 3.80 ERA and a 131/36 K/BB ratio in 154 innings. The Phillies could attempt to re-sign Hellickson in the offseason. It’s also possible the club makes a qualifying offer — estimated to be worth $16.7 million — so that the Phillies will at least get back a compensatory draft pick if Hellickson opts to

    HardballTalk
  • WATCH: Young Argentine player shows off skills that would make Messi jealous

    Most of our readers likely aren't well-versed in the world that is Argentine club soccer. Because of the dominance of the European game, it's not the most popular league in the world, but it doesn't lack quality and is always exciting to watch. Soccer fans may know of clubs like Boca Juniors, River Plate. Maybe even Independiente, San Lorenzo or Racing, but the name Giovani Lo Celso or Rosario Central probably doesn't ring a bell for most. Well, he's a name you'll be hearing more of moving forward. The dynamic Argentine midfielder, playing for for Rosario Central on loan from Paris Saint-Germain, showed off some crazy skills on Saturday that his French club would likely describe as "magnifique."

    CBS Sports
  • Bryan Stork fails physical, canceling trade from New England to Washington

    In case you’ve forgotten, since it came before Colin Kaepernick and Tony Romo: last Wednesday morning, news came that the New England Patriots were releasing center Bryan Stork, who started Super Bowl XLIX for the team as a rookie. Not long after that, however, former Washington tight end Chris Cooley, who is now a radio broadcaster in the area, tweeted that Stork had decided to retire.

    Shutdown Corner
  • Star QB Colin Kaepernick sacked by US anthem controversy, will 'continue to sit'

    San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has landed in the center of a furor after his refusal to stand during the national anthem at a preseason game, unleashing a tidal wave of criticism and support. The 49ers' multi-million dollar signal-caller—whose agile play making and powerful arm helped carry his team to the Super Bowl in 2013—told the NFL.com in an interview that his refusal to stand for the anthem was in protest against social injustice. "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told the publication after the 49ers fell to the Green Bay Packers in a preseason game on Friday night.

    CNBC
  • New Grandstand home to compelling tennis in debut on U.S. Open Day 1

    In its maiden match, Caroline Wozniacki—a two-time finalist here—beat Taylor Townsend in three sets, 7-5 in the third. Then young American Frances Tiafoe served for the match against John Isner but capitulated and fell 7-6 in the fifth set. Keep an eye on Naomi Osaka, an 18-year-old based in Florida who plays for Japan.

    Sports Illustrated
  • Jason Terry chose Bucks because he wants to play, not just mentor

    Jason Terry has talked about reaching out to multiple teams, including contenders, during free agency before settling on the Milwaukee Bucks. When he talked about why the Bucks, he spoke of believing in what Jason Kidd was building. There may have been another reason: Minutes. From Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times: Some NBA officials contend he signed with Milwaukee and rejected overtures from a handful of teams, including the reigning NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers, because of potential playing time. “He wants his minutes,’’ said an NBA executive, whose team had shown some interest in signing Terry. “He didn’t go there (Milwaukee) to sit on the bench.’’ Terry’s agent denied this, saying

    ProBasketballTalk
  • Verstappen blames Raikkonen, Vettel for ‘destroying’ Belgian GP at Turn 1

    Max Verstappen has blamed Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel for ending his hopes of a podium finish in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix, saying his race was “destroyed” at Turn 1. The race at Spa-Francorchamps acted as Verstappen’s home event as tens of thousands of fans made the trip over from his native Netherlands, resulting in the circuit’s best raceday attendance in over a decade. Verstappen made a slow start from second place on the grid, slipping behind Raikkonen on the run down to the first corner. The Dutchman tried to dive down the inside of Raikkonen at La Source, only for the two to make contact and also tangle with Vettel on the outside. The collision left Verstappen

    MotorSportsTalk
  • Recruiting Roundup: Ohio State Adds Pair, Kris Wilkes, Paul Scruggs, Josh Carlton, Jahvon Quinerly, Syracuse Camp

    Ohio State added a pair of Class of 2018 recruits in Versailles wing Justin Ahrens and Cincinnati Princeton forward Darius Bazley who committed as a package. "We've been talking about it for a while, but it really got serious when they decided to offer me," Ahrens told 247Sports.com. "We put the two of us and Coach [Thad] Matta in a group chat and we asked when we could make it over there for a visit. Today was that day." The two had planned on a package to make it unique. "Darius and I called (assistant Chris) Jent and told him we were committing, but we told him not to tell Coach Matta," Ahrens told 247Sports.com. "We asked him if he could get Coach Matta out of his office and add some humor

    SNY
  • Let’s argue about EA Sports’ NHL 17 player ratings

    EA Sports released top player rankings for NHL 17 about a week ago, but it isn’t too late to needlessly argue about them. The top 50 overall ratings is probably the best place to start, but EA also shared top 10 lists for centers, defensemen, goalies, left wings and right wings. Now, it’s important not to take this stuff too seriously. There are plenty of things to cool down any diehards who feel like Their Guy was disrespected, but do note that ratings sometimes get tweaked. Still, there are some fun observations and debates that can come from pouring through these rankings, especially if you’re … well, bored. Shea Weber vs. P.K. Subban Did Michel Therrien and Marc Bergevin chime in on the debate?

    ProHockeyTalk
  • Cliff Avril responds to backlash over hit that injured Tony Romo

    You’ve seen the replay by now, especially since we learned Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has a fractured vertebrae in his back and will likely miss a significant portion of the season. Romo was sliding down when he was hit by Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril from behind, and then Romo writhed around in pain. Cowboys fans noticed and they have let Avril know they didn’t like the hit.

    Shutdown Corner
  • Year after stunning Williams, Vinci returns to Open with win

    A couple of days before she returned to the site of her stunning upset of Serena Williams at the 2015 U.S. Open, Roberta Vinci was grabbing a coffee at a Starbucks in Manhattan when her breakfast was interrupted by fellow customers. "Some Americans recognized me," Vinci recounted, a mix of appreciation and bewilderment written on her face. Regardless of whatever else may come for Vinci on — or, indeed, away from — a tennis court, the Italian will always be remembered as the woman who stopped Williams' bid to complete the first calendar-year Grand Slam in more than a quarter-century.

    Associated Press
  • Tiger Woods's Home Is Filled With New Golf Equipment

    The battle of the brands has begun, and only Tiger Woods can stop it. According to Woods's longtime friend Notah Begay, a bevy of golf equipment manufacturers have flooded the 14-time major winner's Jupiter, Florida home with their products, all of them vying to fill the void left by Nike's exit from the golf equipment business.

    Golf