Location : Munich, Germany
Broke ground : 21 October 2002
Opened : 30 May 2005
Owner : Allianz Arena München Stadion GmbH
Operator: Allianz Arena München Stadion GmbH
Surface: Grass Pitch
Construction cost : €340 million
Architect: Herzog & de Meuron ArupSport
Structural engineer ; Ove Arup & Partners
Capacity: 66,000 (2005)
71,437 (2013–) (League Matches)
67,812 (International Matches)
Executive suites 106
Field dimensions: 105m x 68m
Tenants : FC Bayern Munich / TSV 1860 München
The Allianz Arena is a football stadium which located at the northern edge of Munich’s borough of Schwabing-Freimann on the Fröttmaning Heath, Bavaria, Germany. It is the first stadium in the world that has a full changing color outside. Near the Allianz Arena, Fröttmaning U-Bahn station, on U6 can be seen. The two professional Munich football clubs FC Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 München have played their home games at the Allianz Arena since the start of the 2005–06 season. The clubs had previously played their home games at the Munich Olympic Stadium since 1972. The Allianz Arena is the third biggest stadium in Germany behind Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund and the Olympiastadion in Berlin. TSV 1860 München previously had a 50% share in the stadium but FC Bayern Munich bought their shares out for 11 million euros in April, 2006. This still allows TSV 1860 München to play at the stadium but they own no rights to it.
The large financial services provider Allianz purchased the rights to name the stadium for 30 years. However this name cannot be used when hosting FIFA and UEFA events, since these governing bodies have policies forbidding corporate sponsorship from companies that are not official tournament partners. During the 2006 World Cup, the stadium was referred to as FIFA World Cup Stadium Munich. In UEFA club matches, it is known as Fußball Arena München and it hosted the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final. The stadium has been nicknamed “Schlauchboot” (inflatable boat). The museum of Bayern Munich, FC Bayern Erlebniswelt, is located inside the Allianz Arena.
The stadium construction began on 21 October 2002 and was officially opened on 30 May 2005. The primary designers are architects Herzog & de Meuron. The stadium is designed so that the main entrance to the stadium would be from an elevated esplanade separated from the parking space consisting of Europe’s biggest underground car park. The roof of the stadium has in-built roller blinds which may be drawn back and forth during games to provide protection from the sun.
Total concrete used during stadium construction: 120,000 m³
Total concrete used for the parking garage: 85,000 m³
Total steel used during stadium construction: 22,000 tonnes
Total steel used for the parking garage: 14,000 tonnes
Effective with the city’s approval of modifications that was granted 16 January 2006, the legal capacity of the stadium increased from 66,000 to 69,901 spectators (including standing room). The lower tier can seat up to 20,000, the middle tier up to 24,000, and the upper tier up to 22,000. 10,400 of the seats in the lower tier corners can be converted to standing room to allow an additional 3,120 spectators. The total capacity includes 2,000 business seats, 400 seats for the press, 106 luxury boxes with seating for up to 174, and 165 berths for wheelchairs and the like. From the second half of the 2005–06 Bundesliga season, the arena is able to accommodate 69,901 spectators at league and German Cup games, but because of UEFA regulations, the capacity remained at 66,000 seats for UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup games. Bayern Munich limited capacity during their league and cup games to 69,000. The partial roof covers all seats, although winds can still blow rain onto some of them. Prior to the 2012–13 season, Bayern Munich announced that capacity had been increased to 71,000 for domestic matches and 68,000 for UEFA matches, with the addition of 2,000 seats in the upper tier of the arena.
Allianz Arena also offers three day-care centers and a fan shop, the FC Bayern Munich Megastore. Merchandise is offered at stands all along the inside of the exterior wall inside the area behind the seats. Numerous restaurants and fast-food establishments are also located around the stadium.
There are four team locker rooms (one each for the two home teams and their respective opponents), four coaches’ locker rooms, and two locker rooms for referees. Two areas are provided where athletes can warm up (approx. 110 m² each). There are also 550 toilets and 190 monitors in the arena.
On 28 April 2013, FC Bayern announced to sell 300 more tickets in the Südkurve starting with the 2013–14 Bundesliga season.
The arena facade is constructed of 2,874 ETFE-foil air panels that are kept inflated with dry air to a differential pressure of 3.5 Pa. The panels appear white from far away but when examined closely, there are little dots on the panels. When viewed from far away, the eye combines the dots and sees white. When viewed close up however, it is possible to see through the foil. The foil has a thickness of 0.2 mm. Each panel can be independently lit with white, red, or blue light. The panels are lit for each game with the colors of the respective home team—red for Bayern Munich, blue for TSV and white for the German national football team. White is also used when the stadium is a neutral venue, like the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final. Other colours or multicolor or interchanging lighting schemes are theoretically possible, but Munich Police strongly insists on uni-color only due to several car accidents on the nearby autobahn A9 with drivers being distracted by the changing lights.
Allianz Arena’s innovative stadium-facade lighting concept has been subsequently adopted in other newly built venues, like MetLife Stadium near New York City, which lights up in blue for the NFL’s Giants, green for the Jets, and red for a concert.
With electricity costs for the light of about 50 Euros (75 USD) per hour only, the construction evolved such luminosity that in clear nights the stadium can easily be spotted even from Austrian mountain tops, e.g. from a distance of 50 miles (80 km).
Inside the Arena
6,000 m² of catering facilities devided into following sections:
2 fan-restaurants (one in the north- and one in the south-stand), each with 1,000 seats
Restaurant Arena a la Carte accommodating 400 people
Press club with about 350 seats
Mixed Zone (520 m²)
Offices and conference rooms
Comfortably appointed media areas
54 ticket counters
Changing rooms ( 4 for players: FC Bayern 2, TSV 1860 2 ; 4 for coaches ; 2 for referees)
2 warm-up rooms, each 110m²
550 WC-cubicles in the Arena
300 HD-TV Monitors in the Arena
Patrons may park their cars in Europe’s largest parking structure, comprising four four-story parking garages with 9,800 parking places. In addition, 1,200 places were built into the first two tiers of the arena, 350 places are available for buses (240 at the north end, and 110 at the south entrance), and 130 more spots are reserved for those with disabilities.
The stadium is located next to the Fröttmaning U-Bahn station. This is on the U6 line of the Munich U-Bahn.
From the subway station just south of the arena, visitors approach the stadium through a park that was designed to disentangle and guide them to the entrance. An esplanade rises gradually from ground level at the subway station entrance, practically building the parking garage’s cover, to the entrance level of the stadium. On the other side of the Autobahn, the Fröttmaning Hill with its windmill affords a marvellous view on the stadium. Also the Romanesque Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche, the oldest structure on the area of the City of Munich designed to serve religious purposes, is located there together with its copy, an artwork in concrete as a reminder for the village of Fröttmaning which disappeared with the construction of the Autobahn.
The arena was commissioned by the Allianz Arena München Stadion GmbH, founded in 2001, and was owned in equal parts by the two football clubs that call it home. The GmbH’s CEO was Karl-Heinz Wildmoser, Jr. until the unraveling of the stadium corruption affair (see below). Since then, Bernd Rauch, Peter Kerspe, and Walter Leidecker have led the company. In April 2006, FC Bayern Munich bought out TSV 1860 München’s 50% share in the arena for a reported 11 million Euros. 1860’s managing director Stefan Ziffzer stated that the deal prevented insolvency for the club. The terms of the agreement gave 1860 the right to buy back their 50% share of the arena for the price of sale plus interest anytime before June 2010. In November 2007, TSV 1860 München resigned that right. In advance, the income of two friendly-games both clubs shared equally instead of having that money going to Allianz Arena GmbH. Due to financial turbulences of TSV 1860 München, FC Bayern Munich took over all the shares and now owns 100% of the Allianz Arena.
Allianz paid significant sums for the right to lend its name to the stadium for a duration of 30 years. However, as Allianz wasn’t a sponsor of the 2006 World Cup and is not an official UEFA sponsor, the Alllianz logo had to be removed during the World Cup and is covered during Champions League games.
The cost of the construction itself ran to €286 million but financing costs raised that figure to a total of €340 million. In addition, the city and State incurred approximately €210 million for area development and infrastructure improvements.
On 14 November 2005 at the annual general meeting, many FC Bayern Munich club members complained about the uncomfortable draft inside the arena. As a result, closable doors were installed and spectators now enjoy watching the games in greater comfort.
The Ultras and many other fans protested at several home games against the seats and some of the rules of the arena which they perceive as “fan unfriendly”. For example, a spectator may not enter with a megaphone or a pennant that a single person cannot carry unfurled, and pennant poles with a length of over one metre are prohibited. The complaint is that these rules and the designer seats put a damper on the fan experience. The presence of a large fence and safety nets in front of the southern curve (seat bloc reserved for fans of the FC Bayern Munich) are also often criticized.
These complaints have had some success. From the 2006–07, season blocks 112 and 113 have been converted into terracing, in the usual German style so that seats can be installed for UEFA and international matches, whose regulations demand seating for all spectators.
In reaction to the heavy commercialisation that followed the rejection of the Ultra movement in the media, and some other actions of the FC Bayern Munich football club, the stadium has sometimes been dubbed Arroganz Arena (“Arrogance Arena”).
On 21 October 2002 voters went to the polls to determine whether a new stadium should be built in this location and whether the city of Munich should provide the necessary infrastructure. About two thirds of the voters decided in favor of the proposition. An alternative to constructing the new arena had been a major reconstruction of the Olympic Stadium but this option had been refused by its architect Günther Behnisch.
The Swiss architect firm of Herzog & de Meuron then developed the concept of the stadium with a see-through exterior made of ETFE-foil panels, that can be lit from the inside and are self-cleaning. Construction started in the autumn of 2002 and was completed by the end of April 2005.
The Fröttmaning and Marienplatz stations of the subway line U6 were expanded and improved in conjunction with the arena construction. The Fröttmaning subway station was expanded from two to four tracks, while the Marienplatz U-Bahn station was outfitted with additional pedestrian connector tunnels running parallel to the subway tracks, which lead towards the S-Bahn portion of the station, lessening congestion among passengers making connections to the Munich S-Bahn. To be able to handle the additional traffic load, the Autobahn A9 was expanded to three and four lanes going each way and another exit was added to the A99 north of the arena.
On 19 May 2012, the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League final was held at the Allianz Arena. Bayern Munich, who were drawn as home team, was set to play against Chelsea. Chelsea won on penalties after the game had tied 1–1 after regulation and extra time. Bastian Schweinsteiger’s penalty hit Petr Cech’s left post, and Didier Drogba swept home the winning penalty.
On 25 May 2012, Bayern opened a museum about its history, FC Bayern Erlebniswelt, inside the Allianz Arena.
On 29 August 2012, Bayern Munich announced that there are an additional 2,000 seats. The capacity for domestic matches increases to 71,000 and UEFA Champions League and International matches increases to 68,000.
Stadium corruption affair
Since March 2004, a corruption affair relating to the stadium has occupied the football world and German courts. On 9 March, Karl-Heinz Wildmoser, Sr., president of the TSV 1860 München, his son Karl-Heinz Wildmoser, Jr., chief executive officer of Allianz Arena München Stadion GmbH, and two others were charged with corruption in connection with the award of arena construction contracts and taken into custody. On 12 March 2004, Wildmoser, Sr. struck a plea bargain and was released. As part of the plea bargain, he relinquished the presidency of the club three days later, and on 18 May, the investigation into his conduct was closed.
His son, Karl-Heinz Wildmoser, Jr., remained in custody. At a bail hearing on 29 June, the judge refused bail on the grounds of danger of flight and obstruction of justice. The District Attorney filed charges on 23 August 2004, accusing him of fraud, corruption and tax evasion. The case was that Wildmoser, Jr. had awarded the construction contract at an inflated price, provided the Austrian builder Alpine with inside information that enabled the builder to win the contract, and in return received €2.8 million.
On 13 May 2005, Karl-Heinz Wildmoser, Jr. was convicted and sentenced by a Munich court to four and a half years in prison. He was released on bail pending his appeal. The Federal Court of Justice rejected the appeal in August 2006.
On 30 May 2005, TSV 1860 München played an exhibition game against 1. FC Nuremberg. The next day the record German champions Bayern Munich played a game against the German national team. Both games had been sold out since early March 2005. Patrick Milchraum of TSV 1860 scored the first official goal at the stadium.
On 2 June, in response to high demand, the first “arena derby” took place between the two owners. That game was won by TSV 1860 with the help of a goal by Paul Agostino.
Prior to opening day the alumni teams of both clubs played each other in an exhibition game in front of a crowd of 30,000 where all stadium functions were thoroughly tested.
The stadium’s first goal in a competitive game went to Owen Hargreaves of FC Bayern when the home team won 3–0 in its 2005–06 Bundesliga season opener against Borussia Mönchengladbach on 5 August 2005. The first goal in an official game by a visiting team was scored by Dynamo Dresden on 9 September 2005 in the Second Bundesliga match against TSV 1860 München. That game ended in a score of 1–2 in front of a full house which included approximately 20,000 – 22,000 fans who had traveled to Munich from Dresden for the game. Dresden thus became the first visiting team to win a competitive game at Allianz Arena.
The first goal against FC Bayern Munich in a league game at Allianz Arena was scored by Miroslav Klose of SV Werder Bremen on 5 November 2005 in the first minute of play. This was to remain the visitors’ only goal that day as the game went to the FC Bayern with a final score of 3–1.
FC Bayern broke its consecutive sell-out record by selling out each of its first ten home games at Allianz Arena.
Allianz Arena is lit up in red when Bayern Munich plays, in blue when 1860 Munich plays, and in white when in use by the German national team.