Germany: Düsseldorf Arena ready for Euro 2024... in handball

source:; author: Michał Czarniecki

Germany: Düsseldorf Arena ready for Euro 2024... in handball On the evening of 10 January, Merkur Spiel Arena will follow the example of Warsaw National Stadium and host two opening matches of the European Championships. The difference being that in handball setting a world record for attendance at a handball match. This is not the only major event that Düsseldorf will host this year.


2. Bundesliga venue turned into a handball temple

Preparations at Merkur Spiel Arena for the European Handball Championships set to begin on Wednesday 10 January, already started in December. The metamorphosis involved 300 contractors, who pushed the work forward every day.

To begin with, the grass pitch had to be replaced with a rubber surface, and then the installation of, among other things, 25 kilometres of cables and 30 laser systems under the closed roof of the Düsseldorf stadium had to be dealt with. In addition, 500 floodlights and 250 additional loudspeakers were also hung there, which with other installations weigh a total of 30 tonnes, according to executive director of production Fabian Müller.

Thermal comfort has also been taken care of. Special radiant heaters are expected to heat the huge arena to 20℃. After an inspection by German handball federation officials on 8 January, it was concluded that the inside of the facility was warm enough that there would be no need to wear winter jackets when watching matches.

Merkur Spiel Arena© EHF EURO

Comfort for every spectator essential for the hosts

As the handball pitch is much smaller than its football counterpart, it was decided to extend the lower part of the stands by an additional 9,000 seats, giving an unprecedented 53,000 seats for handball matches. As all tickets had already been sold by September, the world attendance record of 2014 (44,189 fans) will definitely be broken.

During the preparations, questions have been raised about the enjoyment of watching the competition from distant areas of the stadium. However, the example of the opening match of the 2014 Volleyball World Cup at the National Stadium in Warsaw showed that such doubts are exaggerated. At that time, the clash between the Poles and the Serbs was seen by 61,500 fans. Merkur Spiel Arena was enriched with similar solutions to ensure a good field of vision for everyone watching. In addition, large LED screens measuring 10x12.5 metres were installed. In total, almost 500 m² of displays have been installed throughout the venue.

Merkur Spiel Arena© EHF EURO

Come summertime, football takes over

The new year will be full of major events at Merkur Spiel Arena. Winter belongs to handball, but in the summer, football will get into action. That is when the Austrian, French, Slovakian, Albanian and Spanish national teams will compete for points in the group stage of Euro 2024 at the Fortuna Düsseldorf stadium. The Round of 16 game and the quarter-final match will also be played at this venue.

Take a look at the footage on our YouTube channel, in which we introduced all the Euro 2024 arenas: