Stade_de_Suisse,_Wankdorf

Stade de Suisse, Wankdorf

The Stade de Suisse Wankdorf is a football stadium in Bern, Switzerland. It is the home ground of the Swiss football team BSC Young Boys, and is currently the second biggest all-seater football stadium in Switzerland. The Wankdorf was one of the venues for the Euro 2008.

History

The Stade de Suisse was built on the grounds of the former Wankdorf Stadium, which had been demolished in 2001. The new stadium has a capacity of 32,000 spectators, all covered seats. Integrated into the roof are solar panels with a yearly production of 700,000 kWh. The stadium was officially opened on July 30 2005, although the first match in the new stadium had already taken place on July 16 2005. Young Boys played against Olympique Marseille and lost 2-3 with 14,000 spectators watching. The match was considered an "infrastructure test", which is why no more than 14,000 tickets were sold.

The stadium was used by FC Thun for three Champions League home matches in 2005, and for one home match in the UEFA Cup Round of 32 this year.

The Hot Seat

A peculiar feature of the Stade de Suisse is the presence of a single, red seat (the other seats are black and yellow). This was the first seat installed at the new stadium, on January 20 2005, and the honour of unveiling it was given to former Young Boys player and manager Walter Eich. There are no tickets available for this seat; every game the seat is occupied by a notable personality, often with ties to Young Boys.

Ice hockey attendance record

The Stade de Suisse with its artificial turf surface was an ideal candidate to provide Europe its first "new era" outdoor attendance record for ice hockey . The idea of playing high profile ice hockey games in a larger venue was first realised with The Cold War between Michigan State and Michigan in 2001.

January 14 2007, the massive local rivalry of SC Bern and SC Langnau managed to fill the Stade de Suisse with 30,076 fans, an event which was sold out within 53 hours of tickets going on sale. These two rivals regularly fill SC Bern's home venue Bern Arena with over 16,000 spectators.

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References

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