Rising prominence: FC Ingolstadt 04 have quickly made a name for themselves in German football since they played their first-ever match in a friendly against Borussia Mönchengladbach (0-1) on 10 July 2004. A total of 4,086 spectators came along that day to see die Schanzer, as they are known in Germany, play for the first time. FC Ingolstadt 04 enjoyed an outstanding debut campaign and established themselves in the Bayernliga (Bavarian League) as they finished the season in second place. Then, in the 2005/06 season, FCI went one better, securing a completely unexpected promotion to the Regionalliga Süd (Regional League South) courtesy of a 3-1 victory over SG Quelle Fürth. With 23 victories on the board and an eleven-point cushion over runners-up 1. FC Nürnberg II, promotion was a feat that not even the club’s leadership had expected to achieve in such a short time. Ultimately, however, it was a deserved success for then-coach Jürgen Press and his players. The team put in a strong performance in the 2006/07 campaign and sprung a surprise by finishing the season in fifth place.
The first major highlight: Up until last season’s promotion to the top flight, moving up to the 2. Bundesliga was undoubtedly the highlight of the young club’s history. Despite the target set at the start of the 2007/08 season of qualifying for the new third division, die Schanzer once again exceeded all expectations as they brought professional football back to Ingolstadt on 31 May 2008 under the guidance of new head coach Thorsten Fink, who had been appointed over the winter break. The result that sealed the deal was a 2-0 victory over SpVgg. Unterhaching, an action-packed encounter which raised the roof at the sold-out MTV Stadium and which will surely live long in the memories of Ingolstadt fans.
Setback and immediate return to the second tier! FC Ingolstadt 04 experienced their first sporting setback at the close of the 2008/2009 season when they were relegated to the third division. Following a good first half of the season in which they obtained a respectable 21 points, the team restarted after the winter break with a 6-1 defeat and some tough times were to follow. At the end of the season, die Schanzer could only make it into 17th place and dropped down a league. The task over the summer break was to process this setback and give the third division a good go in the 2009/2010 season. Despite a tough start to the campaign, the club managed it, finishing the first half of the 2009/2010 season in top spot. Following a temporary blip, die Schanzer put a good run together towards the end of the season and qualified for the relegation/promotion play-off. In the two-legged affair against Hansa Rostock, coach Michael Wiesinger’s charges recorded two wins to secure a return to the second tier.
The club’s new home at the Audi Sportpark was opened on Saturday 24 July 2010 and was accompanied by an exciting programme of events that included a celebrity match and a short tournament before concluding with a brilliant firework display. The prospect of playing the upcoming 2. Bundesliga season in the new stadium was a source of great excitement. After 14 months of construction, the venue was opened with an approximate capacity of 15,700. The move from the ESV Stadium to the Sportpark took place at the start of August.
Playing catch-up and then going up! Die Schanzer made a poor start to the 2010/11 campaign but, inspired by the motto “Aufholjagd 2011” (Catch-up 2011), they eventually got going. Despite going into the winter break second from last, coach Benno Möhlmann’s charges managed to secure their second tier status on matchday 32. Möhlmann was later succeeded by Tomas Oral (2011-2013). FCI consolidated their position in the second tier over the course of the next few seasons, consistently improving year on year. Following an unsuccessful start to the 2013/2014 with only four points from nine matches under Marco Kurz, a new coach by the name of Ralph Hasenhüttl came in. From then on, bottom-of-the-table FCI played an impressive game of catch-up to secure their second tier status in the summer of 2014. For all those who follow FCI, what followed in the opening half of the 2014/2015 season was nothing other than a minor miracle. Consequently, the excitement surrounding the second half of the season was enormous, and the outcome is well-documented. After a series of exciting games, the team sealed the deal against Leipzig: promotion to the top flight.
After two seasons as part of the Bundesliga the Schanzer had to get trough some tough years and two relegations into german 3rd division where everything starts anew. The whole club works together and stands as one for the chance to return from where FC Ingolstadt 04 once was.
The name “die Schanzer” shows how much of a connection the club has to Ingolstadt and its history. The rulers and governors of the town, which lies on the Danube, have always valued and protected its strategical position near the river crossing and important trade routes. For this reason, in 1806, they began with the expansion of Ingolstadt into a Bavarian state fortress. It was at this time that Ingolstadt acquired the name “die Schanz”, which even today serves as a reminder of Ingolstadt’s past as a fortress town.
Much more than a (professional) football club: Since the summer of 2014, an area behind the Audi Sportpark has been home to a modern building with five training pitches and all the important facilities for the first team, a Youth Training Centre which was awarded three stars by the DFB and the DFL (a centre for talented youngsters of FCI and ERC Ingolstadt), the Audi Schanzer Soccer School and the club’s registered offices. This means that for the first time in its eleven-year history, the club has “a home under one roof” for all teams and employees. Numerous social projects, a close exchange with the growing fan community and a young, modern media presence are all features of the club in the year 2015 which attest to the transparency and down-to-earth attitude that we have made it our mission to pursue.