Today we present a special redevelopment as it started after one season and ended before the next one. And it’s quite a challenge to remove 4,500 places and replace them with 7,500 new ones. Seven new galleries by Andreas Ruemler present the progress.
Greuther Fürth had won the national championship three times, but that was decades before Bundesliga was even established – last success in 1929. No wonder that huge celebrations took place with the club’s first promotion to German top flight after brilliant 2011/12 season in 2. Bundesliga. As manager Mike Büskens announced, the primary objective is to stay atop and avoid relegation, to establish a strong Bundesliga status, like Freiburg or Mainz have.
To achieve the goal improvements were need for both club budget and standard of the Sportpark Ronhof (for commercial reasons called Trolli-Arena), built in a big part with temporary structures. One way to fulfill both aims was to expand the ground which was thankfully done just days before the hit game against Bayern Munich that opened their first top tier season.
Tight timeline was even more difficult as it wasn’t just building a new section – temporary stand erected back after 2. Bundesliga promotion in 1997 first had to be dismantled. As it was steel-pipe structure, works took only several days, but since it had 4,500 seats, getting from one point to the other (shown on photos below) in such short time has to be impressive.
Then came time to lay the modest concrete foundation of new, much taller and heavier structure. This time not temporary in principle, though still done almost only from prefabricated steel elements. Works started in the first days of July and took just 7 weeks to finish. The whole structure weighs a ‘lightweight’ 660 tons, but the roof alone means installing 300 tons at a significant height.
With 7,500 places (3,500 standing in the corner) the club still has Bundesliga’s smallest ground (18,000 in total), but with new stand and higher prices the effort seems worthwhile for upcoming seasons.