Created on 28-05-2007 at 00:00 AM
Bayern are poised for a major team rebuilding exercise this summer, but building work of a different sort has been progressing at a steady pace at the club's Säbener Strasse headquarters for several weeks now. Four huge cranes currently tower over a vast excavated site behind practice pitch number one as the club extends its facilities to provide new benefits for members, supporters and clients. "We're constructing an exemplary building symbolising the club, nothing elaborate but rather modern and functional, with our fans as the main beneficiaries," according to project manager Manfred Angermeyer.
The new building, situated adjacent to the professionals' quarters, will be a one hundred metre long three-storey construction, with the whole of the ground floor providing a generously proportioned Service Center for supporters and clients. Friendly and well informed staff will help callers in all relevant areas, including ticketing, membership and fan club matters.
Shop and car park
The complex will include a large and airy Bayern fan store with an underground car-park boasting some 270 parking spaces. The car park will not be provided with direct restricted access to the professionals' quarters, so the players will continue to be available for autographs as they make their way from training to their cars.
"This new building is an utter necessity, reflecting the way our business has developed in the last decade," Angermeyer explained. Since 1995, membership of the club has grown from 44,000 to more than 120,000, with the number of registered fan clubs increasing from 1,100 to 2,300. The current head office, constructed in 1990 and expanded in 1997, is no longer large enough to cope adequately with demand.
"We only have two ticket counters and one members desk. Every time there's a big event, the staircase is packed with customers," Angermeyer remarked. The new service centre will provide some 240 square metres of space compared to the current 80, with the 250 square metre shop replacing its 80 square metre predecessor.
Members of the club's permanent staff will also benefit from the new facility. Certain departments are currently located away from the Säbener Strasse, but the entire team will be brought back together when the new building is completed. "Apart from providing unparalleled service, our overall goal is a new, spacious home for the club," the project manager explained.
Proceeding on time
Work began in November last year, with the cellar level and underground car-park well underway. The first walls for the ground and upper storeys have been installed. "We'll complete the basic shell on time by 20 July," Angermeyer reported, "We're right on time."
The process has been helped by the mild winter and close co-operation with the architects and construction companies. The exterior will be complete by mid-November this year, before interior fitting work running through to mid-March 2008. The centre will open to the staff and public in late April/early May 2008. "The new building will be a magnet for fans and our home for the next 30 years," Angermeyer reported.