Munich stadium project revealed

Plans for Munich's new Allianz Arena, which will be shared by the two clubs, have been revealed.

Following a recommendation submitted by the evaluation committee for the stadium construction project in Munich, the two Munich-based clubs, FC Bayern München and TSV 1860 München, as well as the city authorities, have selected the model submitted by the architects Herzog and de Meuron.

New name
It was also unveiled that the new football stadium will be called the Allianz Arena. The Allianz AG’s naming rights are part of a long-term marketing partnership between the München Stadion GmbH and the international insurance and financial services group based in Munich. The contract, worth €90m, will last for 15 years and will initially run until 30 June 2021. The stadium costs are expected to total €275m.

Innovative interpretation
The project, designed by the Alpine Bau Deutschland GmbH tender association with the Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron, was preferred to seven other projects because it was considered an innovative interpretation of the football stadium of the future. The smooth outer façade, with its diamond-shaped translucent shell on to which different plays of colour can be projected, gives the building an almost magical sense of poetry. The 66,000 seats will be distributed over three terraces ensuring a direct proximity to the action on the field of play and therefore contribute to create the emotional involvement of the crowd.

'Positive decisions'
Munich lord mayor Christian Ude, an active supporter and promoter of the stadium project, said Bayern's official website: "As both a representative of the city of Munich and a committed backer of the stadium, I am pleased to hear that two such far-reaching and positive decisions were made today. This comprehensive project is only possible by virtue of the alliances, literally speaking, between the two clubs and the city, and now with Allianz AG as well. I am sure that Munich will acquire a stadium that tops everything known so far, and that will attract attention and recognition far beyond the borders of our city. And certainly by the time our country hosts the 2006 [FIFA] World Cup, the Bavarian metropolis of Munich will be able to shine with the Allianz Arena, one of the world's most modern and attractive football stadiums."

Sharing costs
The two clubs are sharing equally in the costs for the large-scale project, which can start this year in Fröttmaning, a suburb of Munich. Their respective presidents, who despite their rivalry on the field joined forces from the very beginning to work for the new stadium, welcomed the decision with a positive response that is only too understandable.

'Football history'
Karl-Heinz Wildmoser, the president of 1860, said: "We didn't take the selection lightly, but it was unanimous in the end. As the new home for the two clubs, the Allianz Arena will launch a new chapter in the football history of our city and the two clubs. I am sure that the fans of both our club and Bayern München will feel at home here, and be able to keep their own identities in the future despite everything we share. I am already looking forward to the first local derby in the Allianz Arena."

'Important aim'
FC Bayern München president Franz Beckenbauer replied: "We have achieved an important intermediate aim in our campaign. Today's events have demonstrated once again that it pays to fight for our goals. We have selected a design that will set new standards for football in the future. And we are all the more pleased to have found in the Allianz AG a long-term partner that is taking a real part in making this project a reality. The clubs need this new stadium as much as their fans and the city of Munich do! The Allianz Arena will play an outstanding role in staging the 2006 World Cup."