Signal Iduna Park

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Signal Iduna Park
Signal Iduna Park new sign.jpg
Signal Iduna Park
Full name Signal Iduna Park
Former names Westfalenstadion, FIFA World Cup Stadium Dortmund (2006 FIFA World Cup)
Location Dortmund, Germany
Owner Borussia Dortmund GmbH & Co. KGaA[1]
Operator Borussia Dortmund GmbH & Co. KGaA
Executive suites 11
Capacity 53,872 (1974–1992)[2]
42,800 (1992–1996)
54,000 (1996–1999)
68,600 (1999–2003)
83,000 (2003–2005)
81,264 (2005–2006)
80,708 (2006–2008)
80,552 (2008–2010)
80,720 (2010–2012)

81,264 (2012–)(League Matches),[3]
65,590 (International Matches)[4]
Record attendance 83,000
(Dortmund-Schalke, 30 January 2004)
(Dortmund-Stuttgart, 6 March 2004)
(Dortmund-Bayern, 17 April 2004)
(Dortmund-Rostock, 1 May 2004)
(Dortmund-Bayern, 18 September 2004)
(Dortmund-Schalke, 5 December 2004)
Field size 105 × 68 m
Construction
Built 1971–1974
Opened 2 April 1974
Renovated 1992, 1995–99, 2002–03, 2006
Construction cost 32.7 million DM in 1974; estimated 200 million in 2006
Architect Planungsgruppe Drahtler
Tenants
Borussia Dortmund

Westfalenstadion (German pronunciation: [ˈvɛstfalənˌʃtaːdi̯ɔn]) is an association football stadium in Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is the home stadium of the Borussia Dortmund football team playing in the German Bundesliga.

The stadium is officially named Signal Iduna Park [zɪɡˈnaːl ʔɪˈduːna ˈpaʁk] under a sponsorship arrangement lasting from December 2005 until 2021,[5] giving naming rights to the Signal Iduna Group, an insurance company. The older name Westfalenstadion derives from the former Prussian province of Westphalia, which is part of the German federal state North Rhine-Westphalia. It is one of the most famous football stadiums in Europe and was elected best football stadium by The Times for its renowned atmosphere.[6]

It has a league capacity of 80,667 (standing and seated) and an international capacity of 65,718 (officially seats only).[3][4][7] It is Germany's biggest stadium and the seventh biggest stadium in Europe, as well as the third-largest stadium home to a top-flight European club (behind only Camp Nou and the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu). The stadium established the European record in average fan attendance in 2004–2005 with a total of 1.354 million fans. The stadium broke this record in the 2011–2012 season with almost 1.37 million spectators.[5] Sales of annual season tickets exceed 50,000. The Südtribüne (South Bank) is the largest extant terrace for standing spectators in European football; it is regularly full to its 24,454 capacity.[8][9] Famous for the intense atmosphere it breeds, the south terrace has been nicknamed "Yellow Wall".[9] The Borusseum, the museum of Borussia Dortmund, is located inside the stadium.

The stadium hosted matches of the 1974 FIFA World Cup and of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. It also hosted the 2001 UEFA Cup Final. Various national friendlies and qualification matches for World and European tournaments have been played there as well as matches in European club competitions.

History[edit]

Scotland, captained by Billy Bremner (#4), played against Zaire at the Westfalenstadion during the 1974 FIFA World Cup.

Plans to construct a new stadium were drawn up in the 1960s, as the need arose to expand and refurbish the traditional ground of Borussia Dortmund, the Stadion Rote Erde ("Stadium Red Land"). Following the historic triumph in the 1966 Cup Winners' Cup (Dortmund was the first German team to win a European club title), it became clear that the Stadion Rote Erde was too small for the increasing number of Borussia Dortmund supporters. The city of Dortmund, however, was not able to finance a new stadium and federal institutions were unwilling to help.

In 1971, Dortmund was selected to replace the city of Cologne, which was forced to withdraw its plans to host games in the 1974 FIFA World Cup. The funds originally set aside for the projected stadium in Cologne were thus re-allocated to Dortmund. However, architects and planners had to keep an eye on the costs due to a tight budget. This meant that plans for a 60 million DM oval stadium featuring the traditional athletic facilities and holding 60,000 spectators had to be discarded. Instead, plans for a much cheaper 54,000 spectator football arena, built of pre-fabricated concrete sections, became a reality. Ultimately, the costs amounted to 32.7 million DM, of which 1.6 million DM were invested in the refurbishment of the Stadion Rote Erde. The city of Dortmund, initially burdened with 6 million DM, only had to pay 800,000 DM, and quickly profited from the stadium's high revenues.

In the 1974 FIFA World Cup, the Westfalenstadion hosted 3 Group games and 1 Final Group game, during which the stadium was almost always filled to its maximum capacity of 54,000.

On 2 April 1974, Borussia Dortmund officially moved into their new home and has played in the Westfalenstadion ever since. Having been relegated in 1972, BVB was the only member of the 2. Bundesliga (second Division) to host the 1974 World Cup games in a completely new stadium. In 1976, after promotion to the Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund played its first game in Germany's highest division in their new home stadium.

2006 FIFA World Cup[edit]

The stadium was one of the venues for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. However, due to sponsorship contracts, the arena was called FIFA World Cup Stadium Dortmund during the World Cup.

Six games were played there during the World Cup of 2006, including Germany's first loss ever at the stadium, a 2–0 defeat against Italy. Also, Trinidad and Tobago played their first ever World Cup match at the stadium, against Sweden.

Date Time (CET) Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Spectators
10 June 2006 18:00  Trinidad and Tobago 0–0  Sweden Group B 62,959
14 June 2006 21:00  Germany 1–0  Poland Group A 65,000
19 June 2006 15:00  Togo 0–2  Switzerland Group G 65,000
22 June 2006 21:00  Japan 1–4  Brazil Group F 65,000
27 June 2006 17:00  Brazil 3–0  Ghana Round of 16 65,000
04 July 2006 21:00  Germany 0–2  Italy Semifinals 65,000

Layout[edit]

Situated directly next to Stadion Rote Erde, the Westfalenstadion is composed of 4 roofed grandstands, each facing the playing field on the east, south, west and north sides. The eastern and western stands (Ost- und Westtribüne) run the entire length of the field, while the breadth is covered by the north and south stands (Nord- und Südtribüne).

Originally the corners between the four grandstands remained empty, the spectators appreciated the extensive roof, which covered over 80% of the stands. The eastern and western stands housed the stadium's 17,000 seats, while the 37,000 standing places were housed in the northern and southern stands.

The panoramic view of Westfalenstadion


Located on the southern terrace of the stadium is Dortmund's "Yellow Wall," which the largest free-standing grandstand in Europe with a capacity of 25,000.[10] The "Yellow Wall" gives Westfalenstadion one of the most intimidating home atmospheres in all of Europe, aiding Borussia Dortmund to an unbeaten home campaign in the UEFA Champions League in 2012-2013.[11]

Expansions[edit]

Westfalenstadion seen from inside.

The first expansion plans are dated back to 1961, although the funding required was not available until 4 October 1971 when the city council decided to rebuild the stadium between 1971 and 1974 for the FIFA World Cup. As part of the extensions an additional roof was added around the stadium that weighed 3000 tons.

The original capacity of 54,000 was reduced in 1992 due to UEFA regulations. As the standing rows on the entire northern, the lower eastern and the lower western grandstands were converted into seats, the capacity shrank to 42,800. With 26,000 seats (of which 23,000 were covered), the seating in the Westfalenstadion now outnumbered the standing rows.

[12] After Borussia Dortmund won the Bundesliga in 1995, the Westfalenstadion was expanded yet again. In the first private venture stadium expansion in German history, the two main grandstands, the eastern and the western blocks, received a second tier. Covered by a new roof-construction, each section housed an additional 6,000 seats. Thus, the stadium's capacity was restored to the original 54,000, of which the majority (38,500) were now covered seats. Following Dortmund's 1997 UEFA Champions League victory, success and an ever growing number of enthusiastic fans made it necessary to enlarge the Westfalenstadion yet again. The southern and northern grandstands were enlarged this time, boosting the total capacity to 68,800 spectators. The southern standing ranks ("die Südtribüne", where the home team's supporters gather) became the largest free-standing grandstand of its kind in the whole of Europe, with a capacity of 25,000.

The yellow pylons that give the stadium its characteristic exterior.

Now it is considered one of the biggest and most comfortable stadiums in Europe. The last renovation was made for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The stadium has a glass front, under-soil heating (allowing matches in winter) and the biggest terraced stand. It is Germany’s largest stadium capacity of 80,720. There are four video screens inside the stadium. The fifth screen on the outside of the north stands is smaller, measuring 28 square meters.[citation needed]

Since 1 December 2005, Westfalenstadium carries the name of Signal Iduna Park—under an agreement which lasts until 2021.

When Germany won the World Cup bid in 2000, it became clear that Dortmund's Westfalenstadion would play a leading role in hosting the tournament.

The Borusseum, a museum about Borussia Dortmund, opened in 2008.

However, as the Westfalenstadion failed to fulfill FIFA requirements for hosting semi-finals, it had to be enlarged a third and last time. Four new stands were built to fill the corners between the existing grandstands, raising the seating capacity for international games from 52,000 to 67,000. Additionally, the new corner elements provide seating and catering to VIP guests, increasing the total number of VIP seats to 5,000. In order to provide the new sections with an unblocked view of the field, the existing interior roof supports were removed and replaced by exterior pylons, which were painted yellow to suit the BVB colors. During the course of those renovations, construction workers found an undetonated 1,000–pound (450 kg) bomb dropped by an Allied bomber in World War II that was only about one metre below the halfway line on the pitch. Bomb disposal experts had to evacuate the stadium and surrounding neighbourhood in Dortmund, which as part of Germany's industrial centre was bombed heavily, before taking an hour to defuse the device.[13]

The Stadium now hosts up to 80,720 fans (standing and seated) for league matches, and 65,718 seated spectators for international games. For these, the characteristic Southern grandstand is re-equipped with seats to conform with FIFA regulations.

Owners[edit]

The property of the Westfalenstadion, originally belonging to the city of Dortmund and later sold to the club Borussia Dortmund, was sold to a real estate trust in 2002 when the club was facing serious financial problems. Following that, Westfalenstadion was in the possession of Florian Homm for about two years[citation needed], it was sold back to a real estate trust with Borussia Dortmund intending to repurchase the stadium gradually up to 2017. However the club was not able to pay the regular rates in spring 2005 and the holders of the trust agreed in cutting back the asset's interest rates and allowed the club to pay the rates after financial reorganisation. Because of these measures, bankruptcy of the club was avoided and the future of the facility was secured. In 2006 Borussia Dortmund became the new owner by buying the stadium back with the help of a credit from Morgan Stanley.

In order to reduce debt, the naming rights to the stadium was sold to an insurance company Signal Iduna. From 2005 until 2021, the stadium will be known as the "Signal Iduna Park". However, during the FIFA World Cup in 2006, the stadium was called "FIFA World Cup Stadium Dortmund", since FIFA controls all naming rights in connection with the World Cup.

Transport[edit]

The U45.

Signal Iduna Park can be reached with the Dortmund Stadtbahn (light rail) lines U42 (Theodor-Fliedner-Heim Station), U45 (Stadion Station), U46 (Westfalenhallen Station and also Stadion). The U45 and U46 are unique in that they serve the special station, Stadion, that is open on game days only. Additionally Deutsche Bahn serves the Dortmund Signal-Iduna-Park station with both regularly scheduled and special game-day trains. This station can be reached using regional RB trains from Dortmund Central Station, as well as from other cities in the metropolitan area, such as Hagen, Iserlohn, and Lüdenscheid. However, some supporters usually alight the U42 and S4 at the Möllerbrücke station and walk to Signal Iduna Park through the Kreuzviertel via Lindemannstraße or Arneckestraße.

The stadium can be reached from Dortmund Airport by taking the shuttle bus to the Holzwickede/Dortmund Airport train station, taking train RB59 towards Dortmund Central Station and getting out at Signal Iduna Park.

By car the stadium can be reached via the B 1 Ruhrschnellweg and B 54. Parking is also available at Dortmund University of Technology, where shuttle buses take fans to the stadium.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://aktie.bvb.de/eng/IR-News/Corporate-News/Borussia-Dortmund-simplifies-group-structure
  2. ^ 30 Jahre Westfalenstadion
  3. ^ a b "Fakten & Kurioses". Signal Induna Park official website (in German). Retrieved 11 January 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "unnamed". UEFA. p. 74. Retrieved 26 November 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "BVB spielt bis 2021 im "Signal-Iduna-Park"" [BVB to play until 2021 in "Signal Iduna Park"] (in German). Ruhr Nachrichten. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2012. 
  6. ^ Evans, Tony (9 August 2009). "The top ten football stadiums". The Times (London). 
  7. ^ "Umbau des Signal Iduna Parks" (in German). Retrieved 1 December 2010. 
  8. ^ Stadt Dortmund sieht Südtribüne als Denkmal (in German) DerWesten, 08.12.2009
  9. ^ a b 'In Germany, every game has the feel of a cup final,' The Independent, 16 September 2010
  10. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/football/gallery/2012/dec/02/borussia-dortmund-yellow-wall-in-pictures
  11. ^ http://espnfc.com/stats?league=uefa.champions
  12. ^ http://espnfc.com/stats?league=uefa.champions
  13. ^ Ciaran Walsh (6 February 2009). "Berlin airport a graveyard of WW2 bombs". RT. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  • Werner Skrentny (Hrsg.), Das grosse Buch der Deutschen Fussball-Stadien, Göttingen: Verlag Die Werkstatt, 2001
  • Gernot Stick, Stadien 2111, Basel: Birkhäuser 2005

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°29′33.25″N 7°27′6.63″E / 51.4925694°N 7.4518417°E / 51.4925694; 7.4518417

Preceded by
Parken Stadium
Copenhagen
UEFA Cup
Final Venue

2001
Succeeded by
Feijenoord Stadion
Rotterdam