Construction of the Allianz Arena started after local citizens voted for the realization of a new football (soccer) stadium in one of Munich's suburbs during a referendum. The new stadium was an alternative to a possible restructuring of the existing Olympiastadion in view of the 2006 World Cup.
The impressive stadium contains 66 000 seats that are distributed along three rings of tiers. It was projected by the Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron after winning an international contest for the development of a new stadium in the Munich area. As the result of a commercial agreement, the stadium was named after Allianz AG, an international finance and insurance company with headquarters in Munich.
The stadium hosts two teams, namely Bayern München and TSV 1860 München. Both teams decided to cooperate for the construction of their new home. However, the external look of the stadium changes depending on the team that plays in the stadium. When Bayern play their home game, the stadium is coloured red and white. The colours turn into white and blue when the stadium hosts 1860 München for their home games.
The stadium can change into three basic colours: white, blue, and red (and a mixture of these). The stadium contains lights of variable colour that are inserted in the façade. The outside material of the stadium is made of transparent elements. They cover the entire structure (made of reinforced concrete) that supports the tiers from the bottom up to the top where imposing supporting beams hold the roof of the stadium.
The effect is great! Seen from a distance the stadium looks like a big toy. The stadium reaches a considerable height of 50 meters (164 feet) despite the fact that the lowest ring of tiers and the playing field are situated below earth's surface.
The different rings of tiers are situated in proximity of the playing field and allow the audience to experience the football (soccer) games at close quarters. The stadium is very modern and it contains lots of shops and restaurants. The stadium was inaugurated in 2005 after five years of hard work. It will serve as the venue for the opening game of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
© by Angelo Spampinato