|place||Wolfsburg , Germany|
|operator||VfL Wolfsburg Football GmbH|
|opening||December 13, 2002|
|First game||VfL Wolfsburg - VfB Stuttgart 1: 2|
|Extensions||2013–2015 (VfL Center)|
|costs||53 million euros|
nb + b, Wolfsburg
The Volkswagen Arena is a football stadium in Wolfsburg . It was opened in 2002 and is named after the automobile group Volkswagen AG . The Volkswagen Arena has a capacity of 30,000 seats, including 22,000 seats and 8,000 variable standing places. It is located in the Allerpark and is the home ground of VfL Wolfsburg .
In 1997 VfL Wolfsburg was promoted to the Bundesliga . Thereupon, among others, the Volkswagen group increased its commitment to the association. The construction of a new stadium was discussed as early as the end of 1997 because the VfL stadium on Elsterweg no longer met the requirements of the Bundesliga. Construction work finally began in 2001, and the property was initially referred to as the “Arena an der Berliner Brücke”. The cost of the new stadium at that time was put at 99.8 million marks . The developer of the Volkswagen Arena was Wolfsburg AG , in which the city and the Volkswagen Group each hold half. With the start of construction of the arena, further projects in the areas of leisure and recreation in the Allerpark were also implemented, including the BadeLand Wolfsburg . The topping-out ceremony for the stadium took place in May 2002. The work was completed in December 2002 after a total of 19 months of construction.
The official opening was on December 13, 2002. The total cost of the stadium was 53 million euros. The kicker described the Volkswagen Arena as a “temple with a glass facade”. Other media linked the opening in particular with VfL's ambitions for the Champions League . The number of spectators at home games increased significantly in the second half of the 2002/2003 season . The first soccer game in the stadium was played between VfL and VfB Stuttgart . In April 2003, the Volkswagen Arena was sold out for the first time for the game against Hannover 96 . The first international match between Germany and Canada took place in June. In the following years the stadium was also used for concerts, for example by Herbert Grönemeyer (2003), Anastacia (2005) or Elton John (2006). The celebration of 25 million VW Golfs delivered was also held in the Volkswagen Arena.
In 2008 the Volkswagen Arena recorded a record attendance. In the same year, a three-story fan house was built in the north-west of the stadium. In the years that followed, changes were made to the stadium and the outside area, for example a new training field was built in 2009. In 2012, among other things, the boxes were renewed. However, the largest expansion in the immediate vicinity of the Volkswagen Arena began in May 2013. The AOK Stadium was built next to the arena . Among other things, this serves the women's and junior teams at VfL Wolfsburg . A new training center for professional footballers was built on three floors under the name VfL-Center , which was initially criticized by some fans.
When the football players moved from the Volkswagen Arena to the VfL Center, space was created in the stadium for a chapel. With the VfL Football World, which opened in 2015, an interactive exhibition about VfL Wolfsburg was created in the immediate vicinity of the Volkswagen Arena, which dates back to the club's 2004 “Football Museum”.
The most striking feature is the filigree roof. This was designed as a framework-supported membrane construction. 32 Radial binder of 40 meters in length form the support system for the refractory and 15,000-square-foot PVC - membrane . This is translucent and is intended to improve the atmosphere in the stadium for the spectators as well as to support the natural growth of the lawn.
The Volkswagen Arena is a completely two-tier stadium with a surrounding promenade. The lower tier has an angle of inclination of around 25 degrees, the upper tier about 40 degrees. The floor area of the entire area is around 115,000, the floor area of the stadium around 28,000 square meters. Of the 30,000 seats, there are a total of 22,000 seats. The remaining 8,000 standing places are variable, which means that they can be converted into 4,000 seats. The guest block of the Volkswagen Arena holds 1886 seats and 900 standing places with a separate kiosk and toilet area. All places in the Volkswagen Arena are completely covered.
There are a total of 31 boxes with 332 outdoor seats. In addition, 198 so-called executive seats , which are integrated into the honor block, and 1,434 business seats with direct access to the catering trade are offered. The Volkswagen Arena has a 102 square meter sky lounge above the back straight that seats 35. This offers a view of the entire stadium, where events and weddings of the Wolfsburg registry office take place. Above the Skylounge is the control center, which, for example, houses the fire alarm system and police systems.
The special features of the Volkswagen Arena include spaces for people with disabilities and their companions. Spectators with impaired vision have a total of ten seats with headphones available, which are discussed by a commentator. There are also 80 spaces for wheelchair users . Families with children can book seats in a separate area in the Volkswagen Arena. VfL Wolfsburg also offers childcare for all home games in the stadium . There is also a separate area for young people who, due to their size, should be able to see the field better.
Up until 2017, the Volkswagen Arena floodlight system consisted of over 170 elements with lamps, each weighing around 25 kilograms. They were all installed under the roof and each came to around 1,500 lux . For the start of the competitive game in 2017, an LED floodlight system was installed in the stadium, in which colored event lighting is also integrated. It consists of 216 LED floodlights and ten moving heads. The sound system, which was newly installed in the summer of 2017, consists of 147 loudspeaker boxes and a so-called "monster cube". There are also two video walls in the stadium with an area of 53 square meters. The stadium's playing field consists of hybrid turf . This is natural grass that is reinforced with synthetic fibers , which improves weather resistance. The Volkswagen Arena was the first Bundesliga stadium to introduce such a system. Underfloor heating is installed in the stadium right from the start so that you can play independently of ice and snow.
The arena has had a chapel since 2015, which is open to believers of all religions . In addition to personal contemplation, the chapel is also available for baptisms and marriages . It was inaugurated on November 11, 2015 by the Protestant regional bishop Ralf Meister and the Catholic dean Thomas Hoffmann. An imam was also present. The cross of the chapel is the work of the blacksmith Father Abraham Fischer, prior of Königsmünster Abbey , and was given to the chapel on March 19, 2016 by Bishop Norbert Trelle .
The client and owner of the Volkswagen Arena is always Wolfsburg AG . In 2002 the stadium was handed over to VfL Wolfsburg-Fußball GmbH , which has been responsible for operations since then. 100 percent of the shares in the company are held by Volkswagen AG , which is also the sponsor of the men's, women's and junior teams at VfL Wolfsburg. Volkswagen's commitment to VfL was the subject of media coverage even before the Volkswagen Arena was built. The connection between the group and the association has also been discussed several times in recent years. Volkswagen and Wolfsburg AG each provided half of the financing for the Volkswagen Arena. Since Volkswagen also owns half of the shares in Wolfsburg AG, the city of Wolfsburg has an arithmetical stake of 25 percent. The Norddeutsche Landesbank provided a loan in the millions to finance the Volkswagen Arena, which will be repaid over a period of 29 years.
On June 3, 2006, the national teams of Poland and Croatia met in the run-up to the 2006 World Cup . The former won the friendly with 1-0 goals. The Volkswagen Arena was also the venue for the 2011 Women's World Cup . During the tournament the stadium was called “Arena im Allerpark Wolfsburg”. The temporary renaming was expressly welcomed by the operators, as it would make the Allerpark better known. The German women's national soccer team was eliminated in Wolfsburg after 1-0 goals against the Japanese women's national soccer team .
Games of the German national soccer team
The first international match of the German national soccer team in the Volkswagen Arena was played on June 1, 2003. They won against the Canadian national soccer team with 4-1 goals. On March 20, 2019, the national team's second game took place in Wolfsburg. The opponent here was Serbia .
The German national soccer team has so far played the following matches in the stadium:
|June 1, 2003, friendly match|
|March 20, 2019, friendly match|
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