Arena AufSchalke

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Former namesArena AufSchalke (2001–2005)
LocationGelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Elevation54 m
Public transit302 Veltins Arena
OwnerFC Schalke 04
OperatorFC Schalke 04
Executive suites90
Capacity62,271 (League Matches),
54,740 (International Matches)
Record attendanceIce hockey: 77,803 (7 May 2010, 2010 IIHF World Championship Opening Game)
Football: 62,271 (Regular sellout)
Field size105 × 68 m
Opened13 August 2001
Construction cost€191 million
ArchitectHentrich, Petschnigg und Partner
FC Schalke 04 (2001–present)
Germany national football team (selected matches)

Arena AufSchalke (German pronunciation: ), currently known as Veltins-Arena (pronounced ) for sponsorship reasons, is a retractable roof football stadium in Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It opened on 13 August 2001, as the new home ground for FC Schalke 04.

It hosted the 2004 UEFA Champions League Final and five matches at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, including a quarter-final and it will host four matches in Euro 2024. It has a capacity of 62,271 (standing and seated) for league matches and 54,740 (seated only) for international matches. The stadium has a retractable roof and a retractable pitch. The naming rights to the stadium were sold on 1 July 2005 to German brewery Veltins.


Plans to construct a new stadium emerged in the late 1990s, as fans and managers sought to move out of the outdated Parkstadion, and create a thoroughly modern multifunctional arena. Following Schalke 04's historic 1997 victory in the UEFA Cup, and the club's upcoming 100th anniversary in 2004, the contract to construct a million stadium was given in 1998 to the German construction firm HBM.

Site and layout

Interior view. The players' tunnel (August 2011).

The site chosen for Schalke 04's new stadium is in the direct vicinity of the old Parkstadion, on an extensive piece of club owned property known as the "Berger Feld". Unfortunately, two mine shafts of the "Consolidation" and "Hugo" coal-mines run directly beneath this field at a depth of 800 m. These shafts (in use until 2000) would have caused unwanted shifts and tensions that could have compromised the structural integrity of the stadium. To avoid this, the main axis was rotated from the classic north–south arrangement to a northeast–southwest alignment, making the arena parallel to the mines.

The Veltins-Arena was created as a multi-functional arena of two tiers that completely surround the playing field. These allow for a league capacity of 62,271 spectators (standing and seated) and an international capacity of 54,740. For league matches, the North stand is left as standing rows (capacity: 16,307) to accommodate the Schalke 04 fans, while for international matches, these are converted to seats (capacity: 8,600). The 72 VIP lounges form a ring around the entire stadium, separating the first tier from the second tier. On the main Western grandstand, the VIP capacity is increased by a second level of lounges directly beneath the main belt.

The foundation for the stadium was created out of cast concrete and 600,000 cubic metres (21,000,000 cu ft) of packed slag, a waste product from the steel smelting industry. These were packed into mounds to support the four main stands, which were made out of pre-fabricated, reinforced concrete sections. Leading into the four corners of the arena are 4.50-by-4.50-meter (14.8 ft × 14.8 ft) tunnels, which serve both as access for construction and assembly, and as ventilation for the interior.

Roof and pitch

The Veltins-Arena features a Teflon-coated fiberglass canvas retractable roof, which spans the entire stadium. The roof is supported by a rectangular truss that is suspended above the field, which is in turn connected to the main building via 24 steel pylons. The center of the roof can be opened into two halves, allowing for an opened or covered stadium, depending on weather and event. To reduce the exterior noise of up to 105 decibels during concerts, a second layer of Teflon-coated fiberglass canvas was added over the first, creating a dampening air cushion. Hanging 25 metres (82 ft) over the center of the pitch are four video screens, each with a surface area of 35 square metres (380 sq ft). The centrally suspended scoreboard, similar to those found inside indoor sports arenas, was the first of its kind in football stadium, and has since been copied in the Commerzbank-Arena in Frankfurt and the Esprit Arena in Düsseldorf.

An exterior view of the slide out pitch, underneath the southern wing.

Like the Sapporo Dome in Japan, the State Farm Stadium and Allegiant Stadium in the U.S. and the GelreDome in the Netherlands, the Veltins-Arena features a slide-out pitch. Supported by a 11,400-tonne (11,200-long-ton; 12,600-short-ton) substructure, the playing field can be moved in and out of the stadium within four hours. This has several advantages:

Catering and venues

To provide for over 60,000 spectators, the Veltins-Arena is equipped with an abundance of catering facilities. With 15 small restaurants, 50 grilling stations and 35 cafés, the stadium can serve up to 2,500 kilograms (5,500 lb) of sausages, 7,000 pretzels, and 1,000 square metres (11,000 sq ft) of pizza in one day. These catering areas are connected to a 5-kilometre (3.1 mi) long beer-line, supplying them with roughly 52,000 litres (11,000 imp gal; 14,000 US gal) of beer per match day.

Other events

The Veltins-Arena has hosted an array of important events, including the UEFA Champions League final of 2004. During the renovation of Rheinstadion in Düsseldorf, the Arena served as the temporary home of the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe, an American football league. World Bowl XII was hosted by the stadium. The versatility of the stadium was put to the test in May 2004 when the Veltins-Arena hosted a pop concert, a Bundesliga match and an NFL Europe game all within 96 hours. Other events have included the biathlon World Team Challenge exhibition race, stock car races and operas. In June 2009, it was the scene of a world heavyweight championship boxing match between Wladimir Klitschko and Ruslan Chagaev, which drew an audience of 60,000. On 18 July 2023, the Veltins-Arena decided to bid for one of the UEFA Europa League final or a UEFA Women's Champions League final for either 2026 or 2027.

2006 FIFA World Cup

The stadium before the England-Portugal quarter-final

The stadium was one of the venues for the 2006 World Cup. However, because FIFA controls all sponsorship associated with its tournaments (including that of competition venues), the arena was called FIFA World Cup Stadium Gelsenkirchen (German: FIFA WM-Stadion Gelsenkirchen; ) during the World Cup. Wayne Rooney was sent off for England in the quarterfinal game against Portugal.

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

Date Time (CET) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Attendance
9 June 2006 21:00  Poland 0–2  Ecuador Group A 52,000
12 June 2006 18:00  United States 0–3  Czech Republic Group E 52,000
16 June 2006 15:00  Argentina 6–0  Serbia and Montenegro Group C 52,000
21 June 2006 16:00  Portugal 2–1  Mexico Group D 52,000
1 July 2006 17:00  England 0–0 (a.e.t.) (1–3 pen)  Portugal Quarter-finals 52,000


2007 Speedway Grand Prix of Germany

Andreas Jonsson – 2007 German SGP Winner

The Veltins-Arena hosted the final Grand Prix of the 2007 motorcycle speedway World Championship season on 13 October 2007, the 2007 Speedway Grand Prix of Germany, the 100th Grand Prix in the history of the competition. It was billed as "The richest minute in motorsport". The winner of the event won US by virtue of winning the final heat of the event, with each heat taking about one minute to complete. 25,000 fans saw the Grand Prix won by Swedish rider Andreas Jonsson, who beat American Greg Hancock, and Australians, Jason Crump and Leigh Adams in the final. Nicki Pedersen who went out of the competition at the semi-final stage was crowned World Champion.

The temporary speedway track at the Veltins-Arena was 300 metres (330 yards) in length. Andreas Jonsson and Greg Hancock jointly hold the four-lap record, having set a time of 56.9 seconds in heats 21 and 23 respectively.

2008 Speedway Grand Prix of Germany The Veltins-Arena was supposed to host the 2008 Speedway Grand Prix of Germany. It was scheduled to take place on 11 October 2008. However, the meeting was cancelled because the track (temporary) was deemed unsafe by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) jury due to adverse weather conditions (even though the retractable roof was closed for the duration of laying the track). The event was re-staged at the Polonia Stadium, Bydgoszcz, Poland, on 18 October and was renamed the 2008 FIM Final Speedway Grand Prix.

2010 Ice Hockey World Championship

The opening game of the 74th IIHF World Championship took place at Veltins-Arena on 7 May 2010. At this occasion the crowd of 77,803 set a then World Record for ice hockey attendance. The host team Germany beat the United States 2–1 in overtime.

2018 German Darts Masters

The stadium hosted the 2018 German Darts Masters. The event achieved a record-breaking attendance of 20,210, the most ever at a darts event. The event was won by Mensur Suljović.

UEFA Euro 2024

The stadium will be one of the venues for the UEFA Euro 2024. However, due to sponsorship contracts, the arena will use its non-sponsored name during the tournament.

The following matches will be played at the stadium:

Date Time (CEST) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Spectators
16 June 2024 21:00  Serbia 0–1  England Group C 48,953
20 June 2024 21:00  Spain  Italy Group B
26 June 2024 21:00  Georgia  Portugal Group F
30 June 2024 18:00 Winner Group C 3rd Group D/E/F Round of 16


Veltins-Arena during a Pur concert

The arena is frequently used as a venue to host concerts. It has hosted three editions of the Rock im Pott festival, in 2012, 2013, and 2017, with artists like Placebo, The BossHoss, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Biffy Clyro, Deftones, Casper, Tenacious D, Volbeat and System of a Down. The arena hosted other concerts besides Rock im Pott by artists like The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Guns N' Roses, Robbie Williams, Metallica, AC/DC, U2, Coldplay, Depeche Mode, Hardwell, Ed Sheeran, Pur, Herbert Grönemeyer and Pink.

It is one of the stages for an upcoming Rammstein stadium tour, AC/DC's long-awaited return to touring with the Power Up Tour and Taylor Swift's highly anticipated Eras Tour.

Inspiration of other stadiums

Highly acclaimed, the Veltins-Arena served as a model for State Farm Stadium. This stadium shares features with its German counterpart such as a retractable roof and a slide-out pitch. Veltins-Arena has also been a source of inspiration for Friends Arena. The arena also has ties to Lucas Oil Stadium. In that stadium, the retractable-roof also opens lengthwise from the center to the touchlines.

See also

Gelsenkirchen-Bochum Stadtbahn station «Veltins Arena» outside the stadium with connection to Gelsenkirchen Hauptbahnhof


  1. ^ "HPP Architekten, Arena AufSchalke, Multifunktionales Stadion in Gelsenkirchen". Archived from the original on 12 March 2016. Retrieved 21 November 2009. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ "Schalke erhöht Stadionkapazität". kicker.
  3. ^ a b "Schalke erhöht Stadionkapazität". (in German). Kicker. 30 June 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  4. ^ Vester, Mark (20 June 2009). "Klitschko Dominates, Batters Chagaev For The Stoppage". Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Hampden bids to host European final in 2026 or 2027". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 July 2023.
  6. ^ "Rooney's dismissal stuns England". 1 July 2006 – via
  7. ^ "Gelsenkirchen Germany". Speedway Plus. Retrieved 21 March 2024.
  8. ^ "BSI/FIM Statement". Benfield Sports International. 2008. Retrieved 11 October 2008.
  9. ^ "2008 FIM FINAL SGP TICKETS NOW ON SALE!". Benfield Sports International. Retrieved 14 October 2008.
  10. ^ "World Record Crowd At German Darts Masters". PDC. 14 June 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2019.

51°33′16″N 7°4′3″E / 51.55444°N 7.06750°E / 51.55444; 7.06750

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