An innovative engineering feat: this blue-and-white cult temple, which is generally sold out to a crowd of more than 60,000, impresses not only football fans with its inimitable atmosphere but also concertgoers with its sublime acoustics. Yet it is equally awe-inspiring as a constructional achievement: directly adjacent to the ailing Gelsenkirchen Park Stadium, 1.2 million tons of material had to be tipped by BAM to form an artificial hill, into which the foundation piles were drilled. This explains why the arena, completed in 2001, is one of the highest elevations in Gelsenkirchen.
No one can help but be amazed at the gigantic “tray”, which enables the grass to be moved in and out automatically. 400 concrete feet underneath the pitch and 16 Teflon-coated rails make this possible. And if bad weather threatens, the roof is simply closed. The 560 ton, translucent glassfibre and steel structure can be shut right up within 30 minutes. The result is a huge, multifunctional arena which can be converted from a stadium into a concert or congress hall in just a few hours.