The venue from 2002 has just turned 18 this month! 30,000 seater from Germany came at a cost of €53m and replaced Wolfsburg’s old VfL Stadion. Regardless of the mature age it still offers a lot.
Mature but still in a good shape
Regardless of the mature age, Volkswagen Arena still offers a lot. After 18 years of demanding operations the venue is still in a proper condition. This may be due to good management and focus on continuous investment in the facility.
Just recently, in May of 2019, the stadium underwent a few significant changes in the VIP area. The ceilings in both hospitality areas were completely renovated, while the fire protection equipment and an entire IT infrastructure were replaced. An operator of the arena also introduced green initiatives.
With the beginning of the 2019/20 season in Volkswagen Arena and AOK Stadion, homes of men’s and women’s teams, it is not possible to buy anything in single-use plastic containers. Additionally, Monster, Wolfsburg’s official acoustic partner, installed a new sound system at the Volkswagen Arena ahead of the 2017/18 Bundesliga season.
Mostly for football
Within the last 18 years, the arena hosted mostly football competitions with a few musical exceptions. In front of 24,000 spectators its first ever Bundesliga match was played just two days after the stadium's official opening ceremony. It is a home for VfL Wolfsburg, the Bundesliga winner of the 2008/09 season.
The stadium missed the chance to host few sports events on an international scale. Germany has always had a wide choice of football venues to use. In 2006, the venue could not fulfill expectations that satisfied FIFA's minimum capacity of 40,000 seats for the World Cup matches. Even if the requirements had been lower (30,000 seats), it has not been selected for the UEFA Euro 2024 which Germany will host at ten venues.
As a consolation, it hosted several matches of the national team and European cups. In front of 16,245 supporters the Wolves beat Rapid Bucharest in 2008. It was the first time when the Volkswagen Arena hosted the UEFA Cup game. It also witnessed VfL’s several seasons on the European stage with the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League against Real Madrid probably as the most massive game.
Regarding the Men’s National Team matches, the venue hosted them only twice, first time in 2003. Secondly, after 16 years Germany played friendly against Serbia there. That match marked the kick off of Germany's new partnership with Volkswagen.
In 2011 Volkswagen Arena was a significant part of the FIFA Women's World Cup. Germans have shown a lot of interest in a female tournament with a high attendance. The stadium hosted four games with an average of 23,576 fans. It also witnessed the last (and lost) match of the German National Team at this event.
The home of VfL Wolfsburg became the first Bundesliga stadium to install a complete LED system. 216 individual 1,400-watt floodlights, which provide an illumination of 2,220 lux, allow the Wolves’ home to be run in a much more sustainable way.
The Volkswagen Arena was the first German venue which debuted with 5G technology on a match day. From that time selected fans have been able to test the prototype of a new real-time app. Vodafone and the DFL have created it in partnership with immersive.io, a French company which specialises in elevating the sports fan experience through augmented reality (AR).
The software allows supporters to follow match statistics and players’ individual results directly on their smartphones. The app will eventually allow fans to see how quickly a player is running and how successful his or her previous shots on goal were or what the average position of the team is, all live.
A cashless payment system at the Volkswagen Arena has been launched ahead of the second half of the 2012/13 season.
The Volkswagen Arena has been the VfL Wolfsburg’ home since 2002. It has a capacity of 30,000, including 8,000 for standing and 1,434 business seats, 31 VIP lounges and approximately 100 spaces for supporters with disabilities.
Author: Karol tatar