The Bundesliga 2 (Zweite Bundesliga 2) is Germany’s second division of professional football. It was implemented 11 years after the foundation of the Fußball-Bundesliga as the new second division of professional football. The Bundesliga 2 is below the Bundesliga and above the 3.Liga in the German football league system. All Bundesliga 2 clubs qualify for the DFB-Pokal, the annual German Cup competition. A total of 127 clubs have participated in Bundesliga 2 since its foundation.
The decision to establish the league as the second tier of football in West Germany was made in May 1973. The league began operations in August 1974, with two divisions of 20 clubs. In 1981 it was reduced to a single division. From the start of the 1991–92 season, clubs from former East Germany began participating in the league, briefly expanding it again to two divisions. At the end of that season, it reverted back to a division format and since 1994 has had 18 clubs as its strength. 2. Two clubs from the Bundesliga are directly promoted to the Bundesliga, while the third promoted club is determined by play. Off, from 1974 to 1991 and again from 2008. Between 1991 and 2008, the team that finished third in the league was directly promoted. The final clubs in the league are relegated to the third division. Oberliga from 1974 to 1994, Regionalliga from 1994 to 2008, and 3. Liga from 2008. The number of relegated clubs has fluctuated over the years. Since 2008, two clubs have been relegated directly while the bottom team has the chance to defend their league place in the playoffs against the third-placed team from 3.Liga.
1. FC Nürnberg, SC Freiburg, 1. FC Köln, Arminia Bielefeld and VfL Bochum hold the record for most league championships with four each. Bielefeld also has the record for most promotions from Bundesliga 2 to the Bundesliga, with eight.
For the 2018–19 season, an average of 19,128 viewers watched Bundesliga 2 matches, making it 2. The Bundesliga is the second most-watched secondary football league in the world after the EFL Championship in England.