Nothing illustrates the growth path of the "lilies" more than a comparison of the home venues in 2016 and 2023. Six years ago, SV Darmstadt 98 played in the Böllenfalltorstadion in the Bundesliga - the cracked concrete bowl with the morbid charm was like a walk-in open-air football museum, which also opposing fans liked to trace the spirit of the old days.
In the coming year, the SVD, where Tobias Kempe (until 2025) and Klaus Gjasula (2024) have each extended their contracts, will play in the converted Böllenfalltorstadion in the second division promotion battle - the neat round offers modern comfort for the spectators and means nothing less than one A turning point for the club.
Within six years, or as President Rüdiger Fritsch likes to say: "at a gallop", the infrastructure of the SV 98 has been completely renewed.
Training grounds, functional buildings, junior academy, stadium - a proud achievement of a united, persistent and far-sighted acting club management.
Which also cannot cloud the fact that since the Bundesliga relegation in 2017 there have been a few lean years in sporting terms before coach Torsten Lieberknecht has had a year and a half of success.
From January onwards, the sparkling new home should also inspire sports.
It would not come as a surprise if this autumn champions team, which defeated the Swiss premier league club Young Boys Bern 2-0 (both goals by Phillip Tietz) on Saturday at the opening of the (not quite finished) new stadium, returned to the top floor in May would accomplish.
It would be perfect timing - first class football in a first class stadium in Darmstadt.
That is special.
And thus fits exactly into the Darmstadt football landscape.
The fact that the fans had a say in the design of the new opposite stand and that their wish for standing room in the lower part was granted is more than just a football-romantic treat.
It shows that there are still islands of lived community spirit in the professional football industry, which appears to be largely aloof.
The number of members, which jumped to 11,000 within a short period of time, suggests that many can identify with the association and its appearance.
The sponsorship income, which has risen from 6.5 million euros in the 2020/21 season to currently almost ten million euros, suggests that this also applies to the predominantly regional partners.
Of course, the new “Bölle”, which was renovated for 50 million euros, cannot keep up with the big football locations in terms of economic figures.
In return, it is completely owned by Darmstadt 98, including all marketing rights - an enormous bargaining chip for the future (as long as you don't get relegated to the third division).