The RheinEnergieStadion is a football stadium in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It was built on the site of the two previous Müngersdorfer stadiums. It is the home of the local Bundesliga team, 1. FC Köln. The stadium was one of the 12 hosting the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The stadium's name comes from a contract with the local power supplier RheinEnergie AG.
Under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles (1919), the fortifications of Cologne were removed, thus allowing for the building of a new structure in the surrounding area. The new construction enabled the city to create 15,000 jobs. The new stadium was called the Müngersdorfer Stadion or the Kölner Stadion. This allowed Cologne not only to help stabilize the country but also to gain prestige and economic benefits for the city. The cost was tallied at 47.4 million Deutsche Mark.
Following the completion of the stadium the city began to rise in sport prominence. Many major football matches were held at the stadium in front of huge crowds. The first international match was held on 20 November 1927, when the German national football team drew 2-2 with the Netherlands. Since then, the German team has played 19 times at the stadium, and only one of those matches resulted in a loss. Another notable match was the first post-war game, which saw 1. FC Nuremberg beat 1. FC Kaiserslautern 2-1, in front of a crowd of 75,000.
One of the specialties of the Müngersdorfer Stadion was the track meets for non-professional sportsmen. In 1929 there were over 38,000 participants. However, in 1933 Jews were no longer allowed to take part. After the war the non-professional level was never regained.
Recent matches of importance
In 2005, the stadium was a venue for three first-round games of the FIFA Confederations Cup, including the opening match between Argentina and Tunisia. The game was won by Argentina 2-1.
The Müngersdorfer has been host to many important UEFA Cup matches. Bayer Leverkusen played against FC Barcelona, and Galatasaray against AS Monaco in the 1989 UEFA Cup. Borussia Mönchengladbach played both Arsenal and AS Monaco in the 1996 UEFA Cup. The stadium also functioned as the home ground to second-tier Alemannia Aachen in their 2004-05 UEFA Cup campaign.
In July 2004, the RheinEnergieStadion was awarded a bronze medal for distinguished sporting and leisure facilities by the International Olympic Committee.
There have been two renovations, first from 1972 to 1975 and once more from 2002 to 2004.
In 1974, the World Cup was held in West Germany, and Cologne had wanted to be a host city. The city's bid was approved and it soon began work on a new stadium that was to replace the now outdated Müngersdorfer Stadion. However, the city was unable to raise the money needed for a stadium of the desired size. The original plan was for an 80,000-seat arena, which was planned to have cost 23.5 million Deutsche Mark. But the total kept growing. In the end, if the stadium had been completed, the cost would have amounted to 93.5 million. At the time, the city was able to provide only an extra 6 million Deutsche Mark.
Following the World Cup, Cologne still wanted the stadium completed. Hence, on 12 November 1975, a 61,000-seat arena was inaugurated with a match between 1. FC Köln and SC Fortuna Köln, 1. FC Köln winning 1-0.
With the news of the prospect of bringing the World Cup back to Germany, the city reacted and started renovation of the stadium, which was completed in 2003. Unlike previous configurations, there are no track-and-field facilities, allowing spectators to be much closer to the pitch than they might have been in a traditional continental multi-purpose stadium. Thus, the stadium was designed like English-style football stadia, e.g., Anfield, Stamford Bridge, Villa Park and White Hart Lane, with spectators almost on top of the pitch and players.
The capacity is 50,000 visitors during club matches and 46,195 for international games, when there are no standing spectators allowed. The entire field is lit with a floodlight system. In the north grandstand there is a museum dedicated to 1. FC Köln.
|Width||180 m||Height to Roof||33.25 m|
|Roof Area||15,400 m²|
2006 FIFA World Cup
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 Cologne" during the World Cup.
The following games were played at the stadium during the World Cup of 2006:
|Date||Time (CET)||Team #||Res.||Team #2||Round||Spectators|
|2006-06-17||17.00||Czech Republic||0-2||Ghana||Group E||45,000|
|2006-06-26||21.00||Switzerland||0-0 (0-3 PEN)||Ukraine||Round of 16||45,000|
The stadion is part of Sportpark Müngersdorf, adjacent to Aachener Straße. It is accessible by car via the Cologne Beltway, only some 1200 m off the Bundesautobahn 1. RheinEnergieStadion is a KVB light rail station of Cologne Stadtbahn.