Visual

Architecture

The new arena was built for sports, concerts, business events and all kinds of large gatherings. Depending on the event, it can hold up to 55,000 spectators – multi-functionality is an important aspect. The exact circumference is 860 metres; the length is 210 metres and the width 190 metres. No pillars obstruct direct view onto the pitch and the front rows are only a few metres away from the edge of the field. The architects were Gerkan, Marg & Partner and it was erected by the Max Bögl GmbH.

  • Reconstruction

    The so-called ground-breaking ceremony took place on June 17, 2002, i.e. after the end of the season. But from August onwards, the building site constantly had several thousand spectators. Because while the arena was being constructed, the normal matches were taking place.

    To make this possible, the re-construction was done in phases. At first, the side blocks behind the goals were demolished and newly erected. This occurred simultaneously at the eastern and western ends. At the beginning of 2003, the block opposite the main stand followed. The new arena was ready to welcome the first spectators by February. The side blocks were used even though they weren’t entirely completed. Finally, the functional areas of the main block were evacuated to the block opposite and the last part of the old Waldstadion was demolished and re-erected.

    Most time was spent on the cover, which took altogether 1½ years to complete. After months of preparation, the ‘big lift’ took place in July 2004, when the stadium cover was raised with its wire supporting structure.

    Everything went according to plan and in accordance with all the rules and regulations. For the construction engineers had to meet hundreds of national and international requirements, ranging from the FIFA specifications booklet to the Hessian building regulations, various safety guidelines and the standard ordinance for places of assembly. In the end, even the inspectors felt happy with the new ‘place of assembly’...

  • Building

    When you first step into the arena, you only take in the ‘user interface’ – the pitch and the long, long rows of seats in the lower and upper terraces. But what does the area underneath hold? A fascinating construction with 26,900m² of floor space (large enough for an entire housing estate) on seven levels with an exclusive large area for events, with VIP boxes, presentation rooms and catering areas. Under the terraces, there are also offices, kitchens, a fire brigade and a traffic control centre, the stadium security personnel with four cells for vandals and pickpockets, and many other functional areas. Last but not least, it holds one of the largest car parks in Frankfurt.

    The building is mainly divided into upper terraces, lower terraces and between them the ‘band’, which consists of two levels. This is where the VIP boxes and the rooms for radio and TV reporters are to be found.

    The players must start right at the bottom before each game. The four changing rooms, each measuring 150m², are in the basement, as are the rooms for press conferences, live studios for TV and the Press Café. Six further levels rise above it, which not only hold the service areas for the public but also the administrative offices of the company managing the arena.

    The strict lines of the entire construction can best be viewed from the outside. Around the building, 30m-high supporting "stilts" rise up every 16 metres. They give the oval construction something of the massive appearance of a coliseum – who wouldn’t start to tingle with excitement when approaching this arena?

  • Technology and equipment

    The arena is equipped to secure optimal functioning for all involved, starting with the gates. The admission controls process the RFID chips on the tickets. And hey presto, you’re in! And the computer system memorises every single ticket so that seats can’t be sold twice over.

    The standing room is subject to constant change. It can be transformed into normal seating areas without any problem. It sometimes has to be, as seats are now obligatory at international games.

    Security and comfort are the two most important aspects for many points of detail. Firemen, paramedics and security staff all have their own specially equipped premises. Should their services be needed, they can be on the spot immediately and help without any difficulties. The players have relaxation pools and massage rooms lit by daylight. A large press stand is planned for journalists with internet access from each desk. The hall for press conferences can seat 250 journalists; the so-called mixed zone in front of the changing rooms is exceptionally large and, of course, there are fully equipped TV studios with the necessary technology.

    The spectators are offered high tech as well. The video cube above the centre of the pitch is a technological masterpiece. The 31m² display panels (Philips Delta 25-5000) consist of altogether 192 modules. There are 147,456 red, yellow and blue LED lamps on each side, guaranteeing a brilliant image from all seats.

    Incidentally, the arena meets modern ecological standards, too. Rainwater is collected in a large basin and provides nearly all the water needed for the wash rooms and toilets. And although the floodlight system illuminates the pitch more brightly and evenly than before, it uses less kilowatts thanks to the latest spotlight technology.