Hainer, Hoeneß and Pesic: Things are really happening at FC Bayern Basketball

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In the inner sanctum of the SAP Garden, the FC Bayern Basketball players' dressing room, orange cable reels hang chaotically from the walls, wrapping themselves around exposed steel pipes, and in other respects it’s still not very homely - but if you let your imagination run wild, the concrete-grey construction site walls and the bare floor take shape in your mind's eye: This is where the "Red Giants" will prepare for their big games after completion in summer 2024. The cables will have disappeared into the walls by then. A total of 1,184 kilometres of them will be laid in the SAP Garden. That’s the equivalent of the distance from Munich to Berlin - and back again.

The SAP Garden is scheduled to open in summer 2024 and will seat 11,500 spectators.

FC Bayern president Herbert Hainer arranged to meet honorary president Uli Hoeneß and Marko Pesic, CEO of FC Bayern Basketball, for a tour of the construction site. The multifunctional arena, which the builder and owner Red Bull is developing together with the tenants FC Bayern and SAP, will be the venue for the FC Bayern basketball team and the Red Bull München ice hockey team. In its current state, the concrete bowl is somewhat reminiscent of the Colosseum. Cranes reach into the sky, the pavilion roof of the Olympic Stadium and the Olympic Tower can be seen in the background. Hainer is convinced that "The SAP Garden will be a unique opportunity for FC Bayern Basketball. Our goal is to establish ourselves at the top domestically and internationally, for that we need the appropriate infrastructure, and this is where this multifunctional arena will set standards. We are already well on track in our development, but with the SAP Garden, our possibilities will expand many times over - for the players, for the fans and for the partners. Not least impressive are the technical possibilities that allow us to convert from playing basketball to ice hockey within a few hours. Games in this arena will be an incomparable experience."

Our goal is to establish ourselves at the top domestically and internationally, for that we need the appropriate infrastructure, and this is where this multifunctional arena will set standards.

Herbert Hainer

Uli Hoeneß is also feeling thrilled after the one-hour tour: "Like the Allianz Arena, the SAP Garden will be a flagship for the city of Munich. I am already looking forward to it. In this idea, one cog has fitted into the other. We have to thank Herr Mateschitz of Red Bull because he has always stood by his word, as well as the former mayor, Ms Christine Strobl, who has always supported the project," said the honorary president. "The SAP Garden will usher in a new era in Bavarian basketball. An arena for almost 12,000 spectators and with professional training conditions here as well as in the Audi Dome: things are really happening at FC Bayern Basketball." Meanwhile, former German national player Pesic is no longer itching to get back onto the court again, if he’s completely honest: "But here you can already imagine all the things that will be created and the possibilities, and therefore I have to say: I would like to play in the SAP Garden again myself." The team would often ask how the construction was progressing, the anticipation was enormous, he said: "The big task is to create a real basketball atmosphere, and we were particularly focused on that. With the SAP Garden, the biggest goals are possible - but we have to prepare in the time until then. It won't be enough to just show up after completion and play a bit. We have to do our job - and we are doing it." 

Uli Hoeneß, Herbert Hainer and Marko Pesic (from left) looked delighted after the tour.

In the car park in front of the construction site, a container complex houses the SAP Garden "Experience Centre", which opened earlier this week - simply register for an appointment for a free visit at https://fc.bayern/BBall-Ticketshop . Here, partners and fans can already get a vivid impression of the multifunctional arena in animations and photo montages. A separate room is designed like a small cinema theatre, with VR glasses on the seats for a virtual foretaste. Hainer, Hoeneß and Pesic take their seats in amazement at the end of their tour: the screen shows an animation of what it will look like during an FC Bayern basketball game when all 11,500 seats are filled. "Very impressive," says Hainer, and nudges Pesic: "Where will you sit then, Marko?" The CEO smiles and answers: "I'll find a good seat - there are no bad seats in this arena." 

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