Ten years of the Allianz Arena, ‘our lottery win’
It is a landmark, a massive spectator draw, a work of architectural genius. It is FC Bayern's home. This weekend, the Allianz Arena is exactly ten years old. "This stadium is the key to a lot of what's happened to us in recent years," commented chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, "we took a very important decision when we resolved to build the stadium. It was like winning the lottery!"
In a local referendum in October 2001, well over 13 years ago, some 66 percent of Munich's citizens voted in favour of a new Arena in Fröttmaning. Construction began in 2003, and the stadium was officially inaugurated with ceremonial matches on 30 and 31 May 2005. The first Bundesliga match featuring FC Bayern took place on 5 August when a 66,000 crowd saw a 3-0 victory over Gladbach. It was the start of an ongoing success story!
Pulsating with emotion
FCB have since won 14 trophies: six German championships, five DFB Cups and the Champions League, followed up by the UEFA Supercup and the Club World Cup. The foundation for these triumphs was laid in the 248 home fixtures at the Allianz Arena. "Playing there is always a festival for me," Arjen Robben told fcbayern.de, "I look forward to it every time. As a player, if you don't enjoy it and fail to give it everything, you'd be better giving up."
Allianz Germany Brand Management director Bernd Heinemann regards the Arena as "a place of great emotions. We're proud that this beautiful and world-renowned stadium bears the name Allianz." With an annual visitor total of around four million, the Arena pulls in more than twice as many customers as for example Schloss Neuschwanstein (1.4 million) and is the most-visited attraction in the state of Bavaria.
FC Bayern and TSV 1860's home ground sets benchmarks in other areas too. Lozenge-shaped foil panels allow the façade to glow in red, blue, white and green depending on the event. The lighting effect is already impressive, but it is about to move up to another level again with the installation of 380,000 LED lamps, offering the astonishing option of 16 million potential colours.
Fans love the stadium
The stadium is set to become Europe's biggest Arena with fully LED lighting -- and the benefit is not only visual, as energy consumption will be reduced by some 60 percent. "We invest a significant seven-figure sum every year. It's important to me that we remain 'state of the art'," said Allianz Arena München Stadion GmbH managing director Jürgen Muth.
The Esplanade is laid out on top of Europe's biggest underground car park with 9,800 spaces over four levels. And with the solitary exception of one home match, a meeting with Bochum on a freezing Tuesday evening in 2007, every FC Bayern home match has sold out! "I know of no other stadium where that's the case," said Rummenigge, "this is our home. Our fans love their stadium." Happy Birthday, Allianz Arena!
To mark the Arena's ten-year milestone, the FC Bayern Erlebniswelt is staging a small special exhibition from 30 May. In addition, the programme on 30 and 31 May features exciting anniversary specials including Open Air Fun for big and small, special discounts and much more besides!