Germany: Grand celebration of BVB stadium opening 50th anniversary

source:; author: Paulina Skóra

Germany: Grand celebration of BVB stadium opening 50th anniversary Over the past weekend, Borussia Dortmund fans celebrated the 50th anniversary of the opening of Westfalenstadion. There was a special display, commemorative jerseys, and events organized by the ultra group. However, not everything went according to plan. What happened in Dortmund?


Anniversary display

During the home match held on April 6th, the club and fans paid homage to the iconic stadium, which was opened in April 1974. The entire stadium was covered in black and yellow. Westfalen and Stadion were inscribed on the east and west stands. The grand spectacle began on the south stand, where golden flags formed the number 50, highlighting the best moments of the 50-year history of Westfalenstadion.

43 musicians from the Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestra played the AIDA anthem inside the stadium. The LED screens showcased emotional scenes and the most beautiful goals of the past decades, while the stadium announcer conducted interviews with legends like Jörg Heinrich, Kevin Großkreutz, and former team manager Fritz Lünschermann, who shared memories associated with the stadium.

Return to opening day

This time, it wasn't children escorting the players onto the field. Instead, female teams VfB Waltrop and TBV Mengede took the field, reenacting the prelude match played before stadium inauguration in April 1974. Additionally, Borussia players wore special jerseys honoring Westfalenstadion. These match-worn jerseys will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to the BVB Leuchte auf foundation. However, the night lacked the most important thing—victory. BVB succumbed to VfB Stuttgart with a score of 0:1.

Signal Iduna Park© Borussia Dortmund

Controversial incidents

The celebrations actually began a few days before the mentioned match. On April 2nd, around 20 individuals set off fireworks and pyrotechnics around the stadium. Police officers apprehended 7 suspects near the site, 4 of whom were already known to the police for football-related violent offenses. The next day, a video appeared online with a disclaimer stating it was solely for documentary purposes and not intended to incite criminal acts.

The footage depicted masked individuals painting graffiti related to BVB and Westfalenstadion on power boxes, walls, and hanging banners across Dortmund. The Signal Iduna Park stop quickly changed its name to Westfalenstadion as well. This did not sit well with the stadium sponsor, Signal Iduna, which has long condemned the use of the stadium's previous name in public spaces.

Signal Iduna Park© Borussia Dortmund

Germany's largest stadium

The history of Westfalenstadion dates back to 1965, when plans for a new stadium for Borussia were first laid out. Built for the 1974 World Cup, the stadium became one of the most famous in Europe. Dortmund financed the construction, which initially accommodated 54,000 people but was expanded several times. For the 2006 World Cup, the stadium was enlarged to 83,000 seats. It is currently Germany's largest football arena. In 2005, due to financial difficulties, Borussia was forced to sell the stadium naming rights to Signal Iduna, renaming the venue Signal Iduna Park.

Signal Iduna Park© Borussia Dortmund