| 1. FC Kaiserslautern|
| 1. FC Kaiserslautern
SV Waldhof Mannheim
The 1996–97 2. Bundesliga season was the twenty-third season of the 2. Bundesliga, the second tier of the German football league system.
1. FC Kaiserslautern, VfL Wolfsburg and Hertha BSC were promoted to the Bundesliga while SV Waldhof Mannheim, VfB Lübeck, Rot-Weiss Essen and VfB Oldenburg were relegated to the Regionalliga.
1996–97 2. Bundesliga Wikipedia
For the 1996–97 season VfB Oldenburg, Rot-Weiss Essen, FC Gütersloh and Stuttgarter Kickers were newly promoted to the 2. Bundesliga from the Regionalliga while 1. FC Kaiserslautern, Eintracht Frankfurt and KFC Uerdingen 05 had been relegated to the league from the Bundesliga.
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
VfB Lübeck, and VfB Oldenburg were relegated to Regionalliga Nord. Waldhof Mannheim was relegated to Regionalliga Süd. Rot-Weiss Essen was relegeated to Regionalliga Südwest.
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.
The league's top scorers: