The Mercedes-Benz Arena
is a stadium located in Stuttgart
. Before 1993 it was called Neckarstadion
, named after the nearby river Neckar
and between 1993 and July 2008 it was called Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion
. From the 2008-09 season, the stadium was renamed the Mercedes-Benz Arena
, starting with a pre-season friendly against Arsenal
on 30 July 2008.
The stadium was originally built in 1933 after designs by German architect Paul Bonatz
. After It was built, it was named "Adolf-Hitler-Kampfbahn". From 1945 to 1949 it was called Century Stadium and later Kampfbahn and was used by US Troops to play baseball.The name Neckarstation was used since 1949. It is home to VfB Stuttgart
in the Bundesliga
(and to the Stuttgarter Kickers
when they played in the Bundesliga )
After a major refurbishment in the late 1980s and early 1990s partly financed by Daimler-Benz, the Stuttgart town council dedicated the stadium to Gottlieb Daimler. The inventor had tested both the first motorcycle and the first 4-wheel automobile there in the 1880s, on the road from Cannstatt to Untertürkheim (now called Mercedesstraße). The new museum, the headquarters and a factory of Mercedes-Benz are nearby.
The stadium capacity is currently around 58,000, after completion of the current refurbishment of the Eastern stand in 2005.
It is divided into four sections,
- the Haupttribüne (main stands), adjacent to Mercedesstraße, housing VIP-lounges and press seats
- the EnBW-Tribüne (formerly Gegentribüne, lit: opposite stands), currently named after VfB Stuttgart's main sponsor EnBW
- the Cannstatter Kurve (Cannstatt Curve), to the left of the Haupttribüne, housing Blocks A, B, and C, occupied by the most devoted home fans, and one of two video walls
- the Untertürkheimer Kurve (Untertürkheim Curve), to the right of the Haupttribühne, housing the guest team's fans (D-Block) and the second video wall
The Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion features a unique roof construction, making it easily recognizable. Made of precision-tailored membranes of PVC-coated polyester, the roof tissue is durable enough to withstand 1,000kg of weight per square decimeter. It is suspended from an aesthetic steel frame that runs around the entire stadium weighing approximately 2,700 metric tons. The steel cables connecting the roof to the frame alone weigh about 420 tons. The roof wasn't added until the refurbishment preceding the 1993 World Athletics Championships.
The Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion hosted four matches of the 1974 FIFA World Cup
, two matches of the 1988 UEFA European Football Championship
(a 1st Round match and a semi-final) and six games of the 2006 FIFA World Cup
, including a Round of 16 game and the third-place playoff match (see below for details).
The stadium also hosted the finals of the European Cup
(now known as UEFA Champions League) in 1959
vs. Stade de Reims
) and 1988
vs. SL Benfica
- As Stuttgart is located relatively close to Germany's southern neighbors Switzerland, it has hosted a total of seven international football matches versus the Swiss since 1911.
- Germany's first international football match after World War II in 1950 (against Switzerland) was played at the stadium. The match attendance of 103,000 is the stadium record. The first match after the German reunification in 1990 (also versus Switzerland) took place at Daimler Stadium as well.
- Klaus Fischer scored Germany's "ARD Goal of the Century" here against the Swiss in 1977, with a bicycle kick ("Fallrückzieher"), his trademark move with which he also scored the important 3:3 equalizer in extra time (108th minute) at the 1982 FIFA World Cup vs France, but this was not among the Top 10 of the WC Goal of the Century.
- With 115 m² each, the stadium's two video walls are the largest in Europe.
- Along with the Olympiastadion Berlin, the Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion was the only stadium hosting games during the 2006 FIFA World Cup whose name was not changed to FIFA World Cup Stadium XYZ, as the dedication to Gottlieb Daimler was not interpreted as advertisement (i.e. for DaimlerChrysler). All others, such as the Allianz-Arena in Munich or the AOL-Arena in Hamburg were obliged to remove all visual references to their stadiums' name sponsors.
Sports other than football
The European Athletics Championships
of 1986 and the World Athletics Championships
of 1993 were held there, and the Daimler-Stadium will be the host the IAAF
World Athletics final from 2006 to 2008. The arena has also been the venue of several Eurobowl
finals of American Football
in the 1990s. The last athletics event is expected to take place in September 2008, after which the stadium will undergo redevelopment in order to build a football-only arena.
Starting in 2009, the Mercedes-Benz-Arena will be redeveloped into a football-only stadium. It is planned that new stands will be constructed by the summer of 2011, with pitch level being lowered by 1,30 metres in time for the beginning of the 2009-2010 season. Once all the interior redevelopment is finished, the roof will be expanded to cover new rows of seats. The entire construction is expected to be finished by the end of the year 2011. The redevelopment was announced along with the stadium's name change in late March 2008. The first computer images of the new arena were released at the same time, also showing a large cube with four video scoreboards above the centre circle, similar to the one in the Commerzbank-Arena in Frankfurt.
International tournaments matches
1974 FIFA World Cup
Stuttgart hosted the following matches at the 1974 FIFA World Cup
|| 1st round, Group 4
|| 1st round, Group 4
|| 1st round, Group 4
|| 2nd round, Group B
1988 UEFA European Championships
|| 1st round, Group B
2006 FIFA World Cup
The following games were played at the stadium during the 2006 FIFA World Cup