Volkswagen Arena

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Volkswagen Arena
VW-Arena (Panorama).jpg
Full nameVolkswagen Arena
Location Wolfsburg, Germany
Coordinates 52°25′57.5″N10°48′14″E / 52.432639°N 10.80389°E / 52.432639; 10.80389 Coordinates: 52°25′57.5″N10°48′14″E / 52.432639°N 10.80389°E / 52.432639; 10.80389
Owner Wolfsburg AG
Operator VfL Wolfsburg-Fußball GmbH [1]
Executive suites31 [2]
Capacity 30,000 (League matches) [2]
26,000 (International matches) [2]
Field size105×68 m
Surfacehybrid grass [3]
Construction
Built2001–2002
Opened13 December 2002 [4]
Construction cost 53 million [2]
ArchitectHPP, Dusseldorf
nb+b, Wolfsburg
Tenants
VfL Wolfsburg (2002–present)
Germany national football team (selected matches)

Volkswagen Arena (German pronunciation: [ˈfɔlksvaːɡŋ̍ ʔaˌʁeːnaː] ; also known as the VfL Wolfsburg Arena due to UEFA sponsorship regulations) is a football stadium in the German city of Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony. [5] It was opened in 2002 and named after the automotive group Volkswagen AG. [6] [7] The Volkswagen Arena has a capacity of 30,000: 22,000 seats and 8,000 standing places. [2] It is located in the Allerpark and is the home stadium of the football team VfL Wolfsburg. [8]

UEFA international sport governing body

The Union of European Football Associations is the administrative body for association football, futsal and beach soccer in Europe, although several member states are primarily or entirely located in Asia. It is one of six continental confederations of world football's governing body FIFA. UEFA consists of 55 national association members.

Soccer-specific stadium Type of sports stadium

Soccer-specific stadium is a term used mainly in the United States and Canada to refer to a sports stadium either purpose-built or fundamentally redesigned for soccer and whose primary function is to host soccer matches, as opposed to a multipurpose stadium which is for a variety of sports. A soccer-specific stadium may host other sporting events and concerts, but the design and purpose of a soccer-specific stadium is primarily for soccer. Some facilities have a permanent stage at one end of the stadium used for staging concerts.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Contents

History

In 1997, VfL Wolfsburg was promoted to the Bundesliga, [9] the German premier league, which led the Volkswagen Group to reinforce its commitment to the club. [10] Discussions on the construction of a new stadium began at the end of 1997 because the VfL-Stadion am Elsterweg did not meet the requirements of the Bundesliga. [11] [12] Construction of the new stadium finally began in 2001. The stadium was initially referred to as the "Arena an der Berliner Brücke" ("Arena by the Berlin Bridge"). [13] At the time, the cost of the new stadium was estimated at 99.8 million DM. [14] The constructor of the Volkswagen Arena was the Wolfsburg AG. [15] Both the city and the Volkswagen Group each own half of the company. [16] Alongside the start of construction of the arena, even more leisure and recreation projects were realised in the Allerpark, including the BadeLand Wolfsburg water park. [17] The topping-out ceremony for the stadium took place in May 2002. [18] The work was completed in December 2002 after a total of 19 months of construction. [19]

VfL Wolfsburg sportsclub from Wolfsburg

Verein für Leibesübungen Wolfsburg e. V., commonly known as VfL Wolfsburg or Wolfsburg, is a German sports club based in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony. The club grew out of a multi-sports club for Volkswagen workers in the city of Wolfsburg. It is best known for its football department, but other departments include badminton, handball and athletics.

Bundesliga Association football league

The Bundesliga is a professional association football league in Germany and the football league with the highest average stadium attendance worldwide. At the top of the German football league system, the Bundesliga is Germany's primary football competition. The Bundesliga comprises 18 teams and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the 2. Bundesliga. Seasons run from August to May. Most games are played on Saturdays and Sundays, with a few games played on weekdays. All of the Bundesliga clubs qualify for the DFB-Pokal. The winner of the Bundesliga qualifies for the DFL-Supercup.

Volkswagen Group Automotive manufacturing conglomerate

Volkswagen AG, known internationally as the Volkswagen Group, is a German multinational automotive manufacturing company headquartered in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany and indirectly majority owned by Austrian Porsche and Piëch families. It designs, manufactures and distributes passenger and commercial vehicles, motorcycles, engines, and turbomachinery and offers related services including financing, leasing and fleet management. In 2016, it was the world's largest automaker by sales, overtaking Toyota and keeping this title in 2017 and 2018, selling 10.8 million vehicles. It has maintained the largest market share in Europe for over two decades. It ranked seventh in the 2018 Fortune Global 500 list of the world's largest companies. Volkswagen Group sells passenger cars under the Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT, Škoda and the flagship Volkswagen marques; motorcycles under the Ducati brand; and TRATON under the marques MAN, Scania, and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. It is divided into two primary divisions, the Automotive Division and the Financial Services Division, and as of 2008 had approximately 342 subsidiary companies. Volkswagen also has two major joint-ventures in China. The company has operations in approximately 150 countries and operates 100 production facilities across 27 countries.

The stadium was officially opened on 13 December 2002 and cost a total of 53 million. [4] [2] The Kicker sports magazine called the Volkswagen Arena a "temple with a glass facade". [20] [21] Other media connected the opening of the stadium with VfL Wolfsburg's ambition to play in the Champions League. [22] The number of spectators at home games significantly increased in the second half of the 2002-03 season. [23] The first football match at the stadium was played between VfL Wolfsburg and VfB Stuttgart. [24] In April 2003, tickets for the match against Hannover 96 at the Volkswagen Arena were sold out for the first time. The first international match at the stadium took place in June of the same year between Germany and Canada. [25] In the following years, the stadium has been used for concerts performed by artists such as Herbert Grönemeyer (2003), Anastacia (2005) and Elton John (2006). [26] The celebration for the 25th million VW Golf produced was also held in the Volkswagen Arena. [27]

Euro European currency

The euro is the official currency of 19 of the 28 member states of the European Union. This group of states is known as the eurozone or euro area, and counts about 343 million citizens as of 2019. The euro, which is divided into 100 cents, is the second-largest and second-most traded currency in the foreign exchange market after the United States dollar.

kicker Sportmagazin is Germany's leading sports magazine and is focused primarily on football. The magazine was founded in 1920 by German football pioneer Walther Bensemann and is published twice a week, usually Monday and Thursday, in Nuremberg. The Monday edition sells an average of 240,000 copies, while the Thursday edition has an average circulation of about 220,000 copies.

UEFA Champions League European association football tournament

The UEFA Champions League is an annual club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and contested by top-division European clubs, deciding the best team in Europe. It is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world and the most prestigious club competition in European football, played by the national league champions of the strongest UEFA national associations.

In 2008, the Volkswagen Arena saw a record attendance. [28] In the same year, a three-storey fan building was built to the northwest of the stadium. [29] In the following year, a number of changes were made in and around the stadium, [30] for example the construction of new training grounds in 2009 and the refurbishment of the box seats, among others, in 2012. [31] [32] The largest expansion in the immediate vicinity of the Volkswagen Arena began in 2013, [33] when the AOK Stadium was built next to the arena. [34] This is now used by teams such as the VfL Wolfsburg women's and youth teams. [35] The VfL Center, a new three-storey training centre for the professional football players, was also built. [36] It was initially criticised by some fans. [37]

By moving the professional footballers from the Volkswagen Arena into the VfL Center, space was freed up for a chapel as well as for other facilities. [38] The VfL FußballWelt (VfL FootballWorld) opened in 2015 in the immediate vicinity of the Volkswagen Arena, providing space for an interactive exhibition about VfL Wolfsburg. [39] This traces back to the club's football museum from 2004. [40]

Professionalism in association football

Association football is the world's most popular sport, and is worth US$600 billion worldwide. By the end of the 20th century it was played by over 250 million players in over 200 countries. Around the world, the sport is played at a professional level by professional footballers, and millions of people regularly go to football stadiums to follow their favourite football teams, while billions more watch the sport on television or on the internet. Football has the highest global television audience in sport. The sport had amateur origins and evolved into the modern professional competition.

Chapel Religious place of fellowship attached to a larger institution

A chapel is a Christian place of prayer and worship that is usually relatively small, and is distinguished from a church. The term has several senses. Firstly, smaller spaces inside a church that have their own altar are often called chapels; the Lady Chapel is a common type of these. Secondly, a chapel is a place of worship, sometimes non-denominational, that is part of a building or complex with some other main purpose, such as a school, college, hospital, palace or large aristocratic house, castle, barracks, prison, funeral home, cemetery, airport, or a military or commercial ship. Thirdly, chapels are small places of worship, built as satellite sites by a church or monastery, for example in remote areas; these are often called a chapel of ease. A feature of all these types is that often no clergy were permanently resident or specifically attached to the chapel. Finally, for historical reasons, chapel is also often the term used for independent or nonconformist places of worship in Great Britain—outside the established church, even where in practice they operate as a parish church.

Characteristics

View from the west side (2004) Volkswagen Arena Wolfsburg.jpg
View from the west side (2004)
Facade of the stadium (2012) Volkswagen Arena Fassade 2.jpg
Facade of the stadium (2012)

The most striking feature of the stadium is its sophisticated roof, [41] which was designed as a truss-supported membrane structure. [42] 32 radial trusses, each 40 metres in length, make up the support system for the fire-retardant PVC membrane, which is 15,000 square metres large. [43] The membrane is translucent, aims to improve the atmosphere in the stadium for the spectators and supports the natural growth of the grass on the pitch. [44]

Membrane thin, film-like structure that separates two fluids, acting either as a selective barrier or a separating structure

A membrane is a selective barrier; it allows some things to pass through but stops others. Such things may be molecules, ions, or other small particles. Biological membranes include cell membranes ; nuclear membranes, which cover a cell nucleus; and tissue membranes, such as mucosae and serosae. Synthetic membranes are made by humans for use in laboratories and industry.

Seating

The Volkswagen Arena is a two-tier stadium with a surrounding promenade. [2] The lower level has an inclination of approximately 25 degrees, the upper level 40 degrees. [45] The ground area of the entire plot is around 115,000 square metres and the floor space of the stadium is around 28,000 square metres. [1] The stadium's capacity of 30,000 consists of 22,000 seats and 8,000 standing places. The standing places can be converted into 4,000 seats. [2] The guest block of the Volkswagen Arena contains 1,886 seats and 900 standing places with separate kiosks and toilet areas. [1] All seats in the Volkswagen Arena are completely covered. [46]

A total of 31 boxes with 332 seats are available at the stadium, which also offers 198 [47] so-called Executive Seats, which are integrated into the VIP block, and 1,434 Business Seats with direct access to restaurants. [19] The Volkswagen Arena is home to a 102-square-metre-large Skylounge above both grandstands with 35 seats. [48] This offers a view of the entire stadium and is also used as a venue for other events and even weddings. [49] [50] The control room, which houses systems such as the fire alarm system and police equipment, is located above the Skylounge. [51]

The special features of the Volkswagen Arena include seats and spaces for people with disabilities and their companions. Spectators with impaired vision are provided with a total of 10 seats with headphones so that they can hear the commentator during the match. Furthermore, 80 spaces are available for spectators in wheelchairs. Families with children can book seats in a separate area at the Volkswagen Arena. [52] VfL Wolfsburg also offers childcare during all home games at the stadium. A separate area is provided for younger and shorter spectators so that they can get a better view of the match. [53]

Technology

VfL Wolfsburg also became the first Bundesliga club to play in an LED-lit stadium when the Volkswagen Arena was equipped with a new LED floodlight system at the start of 2017. The old floodlighting of the Volkswagen Arena consists of more than 170 elements with lamps, each weighing about 35 kilos. They were all mounted under the roof and together produce about 1,500 lux. The 84 speakers in the stadium, which weigh 120 kilos each and are likewise mounted under the roof, produce a total of 600 watts. [45] There are also two video walls covering an area of 53 square metres in the stadium. [54] The pitch is covered in hybrid grass, [3] which is natural grass that is reinforced with synthetic fibres, thus improving its weatherability. [55] The Volkswagen Arena was the first Bundesliga stadium to introduce such a system. [56] [57] From the outset, the pitch has been heated so that matches can be played regardless of ice and snow. [58]

Ownership

The builder and owner of the Volkswagen Arena has always been the Wolfsburg AG. [59] In 2002, the stadium was handed over to the VfL Wolfsburg-Fußball GmbH, [60] which has been responsible for its operation ever since. [1] 100 percent of the shares in the company are held by Volkswagen AG, which also sponsors the VfL Wolfsburg men's, women's and youth teams. [61] Volkswagen's commitment to VfL Wolfsburg was already the subject of media reports before the construction of the Volkswagen Arena. [62] In recent years, the link between the Volkswagen Group and the football club has also been discussed several times. [63] The financing of the Volkswagen Arena was split evenly between Volkswagen and Wolfsburg AG. [64] Given that Volkswagen also owns half of the shares of Wolfsburg AG, the city of Wolfsburg owns a calculated share of 25 percent. The Norddeutsche Landesbank provided a loan running into millions of euros for the financing of the Volkswagen Arena, which is to be repaid over the course of 29 years. [4]

Matches

The first international match of the German national football team in the Volkswagen Arena to date was held on 1 June 2003, when the German team defeated the Canadian national football team with a final score of 4-1. [65] It was their only match for Die Mannschaft at there until 20 March 2019, when they held an international friendly against Serbia national football team, with a final score of 1-1. [66] This match marked as the kick off of Germany's new partnership with Volkswagen. [67]


Furthermore, the men's national teams of Poland and Croatia played at the stadium in the run-up to the 2006 FIFA World Cup, when Poland won the friendly match with a final score of 1-0. [68] The Volkswagen Arena was also used as a venue of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. During the tournament, the stadium was called the "Arena in Allerpark Wolfsburg". The temporary renaming of the stadium was welcomed by the operators because it attracted more attention to the Allerpark, thus enabling it to become better known. [69] The German women's national football team was eliminated from the tournament with a 1-0 loss against the Japanese women's national team in Wolfsburg. [70]

Panorama

Panorama of the Volkswagen-Arena Volkswagen-Arena Gasteblock.JPG
Panorama of the Volkswagen-Arena

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