After more than four years of investment, Karlsruher SC's home ground is now nearly complete. The club, which plays in the 2. Bundesliga, will inaugurate it with a meeting against a European giant, which means a real football celebration for the fans.
Was the construction of BBBank Wildpark necessary?
Established in 1894, Karlsruher SC has never achieved significant success in contrast to its great rivals from Stuttgart. The team, with a tradition of almost 130 years, had for decades clearly lost the competition to become the best team in Baden-Württemberg. Although lacking in success on the sporting field, KSC has lived to see a home that bigger brands performing on a daily basis in the 1. Bundesliga can envy. BBBank Wildpark will certainly be one that Karlsruhe will definitely have no right to be ashamed of.
Since its opening in 1955, Wildparkstadion has served local footballers for nearly 65 years. It has undergone several minor upgrades over the years, but time has shown that after more than half a century, there is no other way than to build a new facility up to scratch. Current stadium standards made further renovations practically pointless. Hence the decision to replace the historic arena with a 21st century structure. In order not to paralyse the life of the club, it was decided to invest in stages. As a result, the stadium took longer to build than usual. Initially, everything went according to schedule and only halfway through did delays arise, causing the opening to be postponed from 2022 to 2023.
What will the opening of BBBank Wildpark look like?
How did the most important stages of the investment take place? First, part of the old stands behind the goals were demolished. In their place, new sections were built. This allowed the facility to be used continuously at 50% full. In 2021, it was additionally announced that the arena under construction had acquired a title sponsor and would be called BBBank Wildpark. A year later, the 3 stands on the north, south and east sides were ready. Since then, the structure has been completed in 12 months. The raising of the western section means that the capacity is officially 34,000 seats. The final cost of the stadium was €123 million.
As it turns out, however, the stands are ready, but the finishing touches are still being made, as well as the electrical installation. Fire tests and trials have been carried out in recent weeks and the operation of the anti-flooding systems has also been checked. The results were positive, so there is no obstacle to use the as yet unopened western sections this summer. Interestingly, the Zech Hochbau company working on the structure handed out 44 white seats last week, which were installed in the temporary press area. The inauguration of the entire BBBank Wildpark is scheduled for July 19 2023, with Karlsruher SC's rival being Liverpool FC. Jurgen Klopp's players will not only kick off the pre-season with this clash, but also open a new era of the stadium in Baden-Württemberg.