Steigerwaldstadion

Capacity18 559
343 (VIP seats)
1,210 (Business seats)
Country Germany
CityErfurt
ClubsFC Rot-Weiß Erfurt
Other names Mitteldeutsche Kampfbahn (1931-1948), Georgij-Dimitroff-Stadion (1948–1991)
Inauguration 17/05/1931
Renovations 1948, 1970, 1976, 1981, 1993-1994, 1999-2003, 2015-2016
Record attendance 47,390 (Turbine Erfurt - Chemie Leipzig, 1951)
Cost € 45 million (2015-2016)
Design HPP Architekten (2013-2015)
Contractor Köster (2013-2015)
Address Arnstädter Straße 55. 99096 Erfurt, Deutschland

Description: Steigerwaldstadion

The decision to build a new sports complex in southern Erfurt, near the Steiger Forest, was made in 1927. By May 1931 the ground was ready and to be able to hold its first international game in August (Germany – Romania) it also received a wooden main grandstand atop land embankments. Altogether capacity stood at 35,000 people of whom 1,270 could be seated in the wooden section.

The ground's promising history suffered a setback as WWII ended and Soviet armed forces took over. For some time it was even used to grow potatoes on the pitch, being revitalised in 1948. Also renamed for the occasion, the stadium was reopened to honour Bulgarian communist Georgij Dimitrov. Early years of the DDR league brought sensation as local club Turbine became vice-champions already in 1951. The final game against champions Chemie Leipzig was seen by nearly 50,000 people!

In 1970 the first floodlit game was held here, but the 1,000 lux lighting lasted only until 1990s. In 1999 new masts were to be inaugurated, but one day before reopening one of them literally broke and its upper part crashed onto the stands. Afterwards a deadlock occurred that saw the next nighttime game no sooner than in 2003.

Before that the stadium was renamed again as Germany reunited. In 1991 public vote saw it take a more neutral name of Steigerwaldstadion, one taking from its location. One more major change came with Germany's new reality, the main grandstand was rebuilt with seating and impressive canopy roof based on wooden structure.

That exact stand was the only one decided to be retained during the stadium’s most recent reconstruction. From January 2015 it took 1.5 year to completely change the building’s appearance, now octagonal in shape. It’s a very interesting case because, contrary to current trends in German stadium reconstructions, this one has its running track retained despite being primarily a football ground.

Number of secondary uses has increased, though. The stadium now has not only increased capacity and may offer up to 30,000 capacity for open-air concerts. It also boasts a major conference/exhibition complex of regional scale, able of inviting up to 2,000 people inside for smaller events. With budget of almost €45 million, this operation became by far the most expensive in the stadium’s history.

Pictures

Related news

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013