Austrian Football Bundesliga

Since 1974, the Austrian Football Bundesliga (Österreichische Fußball-Bundesliga) has been the highest-ranking competition in Austrian football. It decides the country’s national football champion, as well as its entrants for UEFA’s European competitions. Since 1991, the Bundesliga is a separately registered association. Due to a sponsorship deal, it’s currently known as the Tipico Bundesliga, and consists of twelve clubs.

Basic facts

Founded: 1911 (1974)
Country: Austria
Organizer: Österreichische Fußball-Bundesliga (ÖFB)


Staatsliga (1949-1964)
Nationalliga (1965-1973)
Bundesliga (1974-)

League records

Most championships: Rapid Wien (32)


Prior to the creation of the Bundesliga, Austrian club football had a tumultuous history. The first official league was organized by the Lower Austrian Football Federation in 1911, and it included teams solely from Lower Austria. Teams from the other states were only allowed to join in 1937, with the formation of the Nationalliga. However, the new league lasted for just a single season, as Austria was annexed by Germany in 1938.

For the duration of WWII, the Austrian Nationalliga was integrated into the Bavarian football system, and its name was changed to the Gauliga Ostmark. Following the end of the war, the Viennese clubs continued to vie for the establishment of their own league, which led to the creation of the Staatsliga A and the Staatsliga B. This arrangement lasted until 1965, at which point the Nationalliga was reintroduced.

In 1974, the Austrian Football Association created the Bundesliga, with the Nationalliga being demoted to the second division getting renamed to Bundesliga Second Division. The number of clubs continued to fluctuate in the coming years. The league consisted of ten clubs from 1974 to 1982, sixteen from 1982 to 1985, and twelve from 1985 to 1993. At that point, the league went back to the ten-team format, which remained in effect until 2018.

During the first twenty years of the Bundesliga, the competition was mostly dominated by Austria Wien and Rapid Wien. These two teams accounted for 15 out of 20 championship titles, with Austria claiming 11 and Rapid winning 4. This turned out to be a bit of a swan song for the two Viennese clubs, as various advancements in the other parts of the country soon led to a more competitive championship.

In 1991, the Bundesliga was admitted to the Austrian Football Federation as a separate association. Since then, the Bundesliga has been solely responsible for organizing the top two divisions of Austrian football, as well as the entirety of professional football in the country. The Bundesliga is represented by an acting executive committee, with each of its clubs being an official member. Legally, the Bundesliga remains a non-profit organization.

From a competitive standpoint, the Bundesliga is currently dominated by Red Bull Salzburg. Since 2007, they claimed 10 out of possible 13 championship titles, finishing as runners-up in the three remaining seasons. From 2018, the league consists of twelve teams which play in a double-championship format. At the end of each season, the last-placed team is relegated to the second division, and the first two teams qualify for the Champions League.


League system

Bundesliga is the name of the current top level of the Austrian football league system. A second division is named 2. Liga (Austrian Football Second League) and a third division is named Regionalliga (Austrian Regionalliga). An overview of the current league system in Austria is presented in table 1.

Table 1. Austrian football tiers
Club Tier
Bundesliga 1
2. Liga 2
Regionalliga 3

Below the third tier is the Austrian Landesliga, groups of leagues divided by districts.



Teams with most titles

Statistics of Austrian clubs that have won the top league most times, concerning the period 1912-2023.

Table 2. Clubs and Bundesliga titles
Club Titles 1st title
Rapid Wien 32 1912
Austria Wien 24 1923-24
Red Bull Salzburg 17 1994-95
FC Wacker Innsbruck 10 1970-71
SK Admira Wien 9 1926-27
First Vienna 6 1930-31

Beside these five Austrian champions, Wiener SC, Sturm Graz, Floridsdorfer AC, Wiener AF (dissolved in 2004), LASK, VÖEST Linz (dissolved in 1997, refounded in 2013), Grazer AK, Wiener AC (dissolved in 1983) and Hakoah Vienna has three or less titles.

Notice that teh clubs FC Wacker Innsbruck and SK Admira Wienno longer exist.

By Dimitris Basias