Based in Baden-Württemberg, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim is a professional football club that has made great strides since 2000 to join the top tier of teams in the country. According to many German football pundits and commentators, the rise of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim is due to the financial backing of the software entrepreneur, Dietmar Hopp, who has enabled the club to buy players from outside their traditional recruitment area. Under his auspices, the club was able to get into the top tier of the Bundesliga, the German equivalent of the Premiership. The club stages its home fixtures at the Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena, a multi-use sporting venue with a capacity of 30,150 spectators. It was first opened in January 2009, after it had been built for a reported cost of 100 million euros.
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim's history
Although the name of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim suggests an older heritage, the modern club was founded in 1945, at the end of the Second World War. This is when the gymnastics club, Turnverein Hoffenheim, which had been running since July 1899, and the nearby football club, Fußballverein Hoffenheim, which had been formed in 1921, decided to merge with one another. At the beginning of the 1990s, TSG 1899 was an amateur side that played in the eighth division of Baden-Württemberg A-Liga. After a series of promotions, the club had risen to compete in the Verbandsliga Nordbaden by 1996.
In 2000, a former player, the aforementioned Dietmar Hopp, returned to the club in the role of a financial backer. Hopp was the co-founder of a technology firm called SAP and he put significant investment into the team. Generating almost immediate results, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim finished first in their then league in the Verbandsliga and were subsequently promoted to the fourth division of the Oberliga Baden-Württemberg. Another first-place finish in the next season meant that the club was promoted to the Regionalliga Süd (III) for the start of the 2001-02 season.
After a couple of years consolidating their position, the club focused on hiring more technical staff and training facilities. The strategy paid off in the 2006–07 season, when the club was again promoted after finishing second in Regionalliga Süd. Fully professional football followed and a further promotion was gained in the 2007-08 season. due to the team's second-place finish. In 2008-09, the TSG 1899 Hoffenheim squad went on to play their football in the Bundesliga. In 2016-17, the team finished in fourth place overall, their best position to date. The club has won the North Baden Cup on four occasions; in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005.