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Former names Waldstadion (1925–2005)
FIFA World Cup Stadium, Frankfurt (2006 FIFA World Cup)
FIFA Women's World Cup Stadium, Frankfurt (2011 FIFA Women's World Cup)
Location Frankfurt, Hessen
Germany Germany
Coordinates 50°4′7″N 8°38′43″E / 50.06861°N 8.64528°E / 50.06861; 8.64528Coordinates: 50°4′7″N 8°38′43″E / 50.06861°N 8.64528°E / 50.06861; 8.64528
Public transit Frankfurt S7.svgFrankfurt S8.svg Frankfurt S9.svg Frankfurt Stadion
Owner Waldstadion Frankfurt Gesellschaft für Projektentwicklung
Operator Stadion Frankfurt Management GmbH
Executive suites 81
Capacity Football: 51,500 (9,300 standing for league matches)
48,500 (International matches)
American football: 48,000
Concert: 44,000
Field size 105 × 68 m
Surface Grass
Built 1925
Opened May 21, 1925
Renovated 1937, 1953, 1974, 2005
Construction cost 150 million[1]
Architect Gerkan, Marg & Partner[2]
Max Bögl[3]
Eintracht Frankfurt (Bundesliga) (1925–present)
Frankfurt Galaxy (NFL Europe) (1991–2007)
SV Wehen Wiesbaden (2nd Bundesliga) (2007)
FSV Frankfurt (2nd Bundesliga) (2008–2009)

The Commerzbank-Arena (German pronunciation: [koˈmɛʁt͡sbaŋk ʔaˈʁeːnaː], sometimes [kɔˈmɛʁt͡s-]) is a sports stadium in Frankfurt, Hesse, Germany. Commonly known by its original name, Waldstadion [ˈvaltˌʃtaːdi̯ɔn] (English: Forest Stadium), the stadium opened in 1925. The stadium has been upgraded several times since then; the most recent remodelling was its redevelopment as a football-only stadium in preparation for the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2006 FIFA World Cup. With a capacity of 51,500 spectators for league matches and 48,500 for American Football and International Football matches, it is among the ten largest football stadiums in Germany. The stadium was one of the nine venues of 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, and hosted four matches including the final.

The sports complex, which is owned by the city of Frankfurt, includes the actual stadium and other sports facilities, including a swimming pool, a tennis complex, a beach volleyball court and a winter sports hall. The arena has its own railway station, Frankfurt Stadion, on the national rail network.

The Commerzbank-Arena is home stadium of football club Eintracht Frankfurt whose offices are also located on the premises.


First stadium[edit]

The original stadium opened in 1925.[citation needed]

In 1937, the spectator capacity through expansion of the back straight was increased to 55,000.

The first modification and the introduction of the Bundesliga[edit]

The first major changes to the stadium were made in the wake of a chaotic game between Eintracht Frankfurt and 1. FC Nuremberg in May 1953. Almost 70,000 tickets were sold for a stadium envisioned for only 55,000 spectators, and 200 fans were injured as thousands tried to force entry.

The renovated and enlarged Waldstadion was reopened on 14 May 1955 after 19 months of construction work. The stadium once more hosted national team matches as well as some important games for Eintracht Frankfurt, who reached the final round of the German National Championships in 1959. During the run to the final, 81,000 watched Eintracht beat FK Pirmasens - an attendance record that still stands.

In December 1960, an ice rink was opened within the oval of the velodrome. Here, the ice hockey team of Eintracht Frankfurt played their home games until 1981. Also in 1960 the stadium was given floodlings, then among the most modern floodlights in Germany and certainly sufficient to continue hosting international matches.

The first Bundesliga game in the Waldstadion took place on 24 August 1963 - a 1–1 draw with 1. FC Kaiserslautern on the first day of the new German national league.

The stadium hosted the World Championships in track cycling in 1966 and the fight for the heavyweight boxing championship between Muhammad Ali and Karl Mildenberger on 10 September 1966, won by Ali with a knockout in the 12th round in front of 22,000 spectators.

Second reconstruction[edit]

The second major renovation of the Waldstadion was needed for the 1974 FIFA World Cup. From May 1972 to January 1974, the stadium was rebuilt virtually from scratch to meet the requirements of the World Cup venues. The opening ceremony of the 1974 World Cup was held at the Waldstadion.[citation needed]

In 1978, improved drainage and undersoil heating were installed.

New events in the 1980s and 90s[edit]

The stadium had always attracted national sporting events, with DFB-Pokal (German cup) finals, German Athletics Championships and German Gymnastics Festivals - and several matches of UEFA Euro 1988 - but during the 1980s and 1990s the stadium began to host more and more non-sporting events. Concerts by international acts such as Supertramp, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Prince, the Rolling Stones, Tina Turner, U2 and Bon Jovi as well as German artists such as Marius Müller-Westernhagen brought in revenue, and the scheduling of a Michael Jackson concert even caused the important league game between Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayern Munich to be rescheduled.[citation needed]

New sports were also brought to the stadium: the 1992 and 1994 Federation Cup in Women's Tennis and from 1991 the Waldstadion became home to Frankfurt Galaxy, an American Football team competing initially in the World League of American Football. In 1998 and 2000, the Waldstadion was the venue for the World Bowl, the final match of the NFL Europe.[citation needed]

The first final of the newly introduced Women's European Cup was held at the stadium in May 2002, and the home team of 1. FFC Frankfurt beat Swedish side Umeå IK 2–0 to lift the trophy.

Upon completion of the 2001/2002 season, construction work began in June 2002 on the latest rebuilding of the stadium.[citation needed]

Today's arena[edit]

Construction and architecture[edit]

The current arena is the fourth on the site. It was designed in 2000 by the Hamburg architects Gerkan, Marg and Partners in collaboration with the Stuttgart engineers Schlaich, Berger und Partner and built from 2002 to 2005 for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. While matches continued, the old stadium was pulled down and a new one built on a stand-by-stand basis. Official documents talked of a "rebuilding", but the end result is a brand new stadium on the same site.

The present Commerzbank-Arena is a pure football stadium in contrast to the previous building and has no athletics track. While at the old stadium, some spectators were up to 125 meters from the pitch because of the athletics track, today no spectator is more than 60 meters from the pitch. The 51,500 spectators at the football matches are divided into two ranks, as well as a two-storey Zwischenband (central band) in which is located 74 "business-boxes". During American football games as well as at international football matches, the standing area is usually converted into a seating area, resulting in a reduced capacity of 48,500 spectators. In the games of the 2006 World Cup, the official capacity according to FIFA was 48,000. During concerts, with fans able to stand on the pitch area, the capacity is 65,000. The slightly curved grandstands are embedded in the existing embankments. An integrated garage has 1800 parking spaces. The stadium is 210 meters long and 190 meters wide, has a gross floor area of approximately 110,000 m² and an enclosed space of approximately 480,000 cubic meters.

The most striking feature is the 37,500 m² large tent, which is modeled on a rim with spokes. The roof load of 3,000 tons is supported by 44 main pillars derived by means of wire cables and an outer compression ring on the outer walls of the stadium. The inner roof covered with 9,000 square meters, the entire board, and after presentation of the arena operator, "the largest steel-cable-membrane inner roof" in the world. It can be completely folded away into the centrally mounted, 30 tonne and 31 m³ video cube. The stadium is therefore also called "the biggest convertible in the world". The process of closing and opening of the roof, manufactured from Teflon-coated polyester fabric, takes about 15 to 20 minutes. The roof is not closed in bad weather or snow. The retractable roof is similar to BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, BC, Canada and the new Stadion Narodowy in Warsaw, Poland.

The lockable roof allows for running events in heavy rain, although there were initially some problems with the system: in June 2005 during the final of the Confederations Cup, misaligned runoff channels led to runoff water overflowing onto the pitch near the corner flag, awaking unwelcome memories of the "Water Battle" of 1974.

During normal league use in 2005, the opening mechanism failed due to a hydraulics failure. The rain water collected in the folds of the half-open roof and selectively streamed onto the lawn. There have been no further problems, but the roof is usually left open during Bundesliga games.

Current usage[edit]

The new Waldstadion is primarily designed as a football arena, but can be used for other turf sports like American football and major events. The grandstand offers rooms that are for meetings, conventions and other events in external markets.

The new arena was officially opened at the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup, the test run for the 2006 World Cup. Both the opening match (Germany 4–3 Australia) and the final (Brazil 4–1 Argentina) were hosted at the stadium.[citation needed]


The main users of the stadium is the football team Eintracht Frankfurt, which has used the stadium as its home base since 1963.[citation needed]

In addition, the stadium also serves occasionally as an alternative venue for home games of other teams: 1. FSV Mainz 05 played their qualifying matches for the 2005-06 UEFA Cup against the Armenian representatives Mika and against Keflavík ÍF from Iceland and for the 1st Round proper against Sevilla FC in the Commerzbank Arena.[citation needed]

The women of the local football team 1. FFC Frankfurt defeated Umeå IK 3-2 in the stadium on 24 May 2008 in the final second leg of UEFA Women's Cup, winning the European Cup for the third time and setting up a record for women's club football of 27,500 spectators[citation needed]

The Turkish Football Federation has also staged several games in the arena, as Turks form a significant ethnic minority in Germany. Beşiktaş won the Turkish Super Cup with a 1-0 win over Galatasaray. Due to the suspension by UEFA of the Turkish national stadium, the qualifying matches for UEFA Euro 2008 against Malta (final score 2–0 to Turkey), against Moldova (5–0 for the Turks) and against Norway (final score 2–2) were also played here.[citation needed]

American football[edit]

The Waldstadion from 1991 to 2007, with a few interruptions, was home stadium for the Frankfurt Galaxy American Football team. The stadium hosted World Bowl '98, World Bowl 2000 and World Bowl XV in 2007.[citation needed]

Since 2008 the ground has hosted the final of the German Bowl, final match of the German Football League. An average of around 15,000 fans watched the 2008 and 2009 finals.[citation needed]

Other major events[edit]

Since the 1980s, the stadium has been host to concerts which attract crowds of up to 60,000 as, for example, in 1987 when Madonna played her first German concert there.

Since the rebuilding of the stadium, the Commerzbank-Arena has hosted international artists such as Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, The Rolling Stones, Depeche Mode, U2, Genesis & Bruce Springsteen, as well as German stars such as Herbert Grönemeyer.

Although the stadium can no longer host Athletics meetings, the International German Gymnastics Festival has returned to the arena, and screenings of major football matches live have also attracted large crowds, for example during UEFA Euro 2008. Since 2006, one of the annual congress' of the German Jehovah's Witnesses has been held at the stadium.

Naming rights[edit]

As part of a naming sponsorship by Commerzbank AG, the Waldstadion was renamed the Commerzbank-Arena on 1 May 2005 for ten years. Commerzbank will pay around 30 million Euros to the city hosting company as part of the deal. During the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the stadium was officially referred to as the FIFA World Cup Stadium Frankfurt, as FIFA rules do not permit commercial naming of stadia.

2006 FIFA World Cup[edit]

The stadium was one of the venues for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

The following games were played at the stadium during the World Cup of 2006:

Date Time (CET) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Spectators
10 June 2006
Group B
13 June 2006
 South Korea
Group G
17 June 2006
Group D
21 June 2006
Group C
1 July 2006


  1. ^ Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt, architect: Max Bögl
  2. ^ [showUid=237&tx_mimpdb_pi1[alphabetically]=1&tx_mimpdb_pi1[filter_alphanumeric]=C&cHash=73726e15819425224270b80f0d7d82b4].  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Max Bögl partnering architect: Max Bögl

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
FIFA World Cup
Opening Venue

Succeeded by
Estadio Monumental
Buenos Aires
Preceded by
Stade de France
FIFA Confederations Cup
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Ellis Park Stadium
Preceded by
Hongkou Stadium
FIFA Women's World Cup
Final Venue

Succeeded by
BC Place
Preceded by
Velódromo de Anoeta
San Sebastián
UCI Track Cycling World Championships

Succeeded by
Olympic Stadium