This magnificent stadium is home to German Bundesliga team Schalke 04.
It opened in 2001 and it hosted the 2004 UEFA Champions League final and 5 matches in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, including a quarter-final. It has a league capacity of 61,482 (standing and seated) and an international capacity of 53,951 (seated only). The stadium is named after the German brewery Veltins.
I went here for the UEFA Champions League Semi final 1st Leg, Schalke 04 v Manchester United, on 26/04/11. United played one of the most attacking away games of the season and came out 2-0 winners.
Getting into the stadium was easy and the view from the away section was great.
Arena Auf Schalke is the home of the FC Schalke 04, often called "The stadium for the new Millennium". Although Schalke is one of major German sports clubs and has numerous fans, Arena is more used as an event place (for concerts etc) than for football matches.
So, what do you do with grass pitch during such events? No problem for those German engineers - they simply designed a movable field. Although it weights more than 11,000 tonnes it takes no more than 5 minutes to move it outdoors. This way grass is usually outside on the rain and when they need it for the football match they just take it back.
Equipment: Arena aur Schalke was opened in 2001at the cost of 358 million German Marks. It has a capacity of 62,000 visitors that are safe from the rain as the 560-tonnes roof can be totally closed. When the roof is closed (and the grass field is out) Arena is used for concerts and similar events.
Koenigsblau and weiss is what the fans here bleed as they look forward to seeing their team strike down the opposition - especially Bayern Munchen or Borussia Dortmund. FC Schalke 04 has Germany's newest football stadium, the Arena auf Schalke - room for over 60,000, featuring a retractible roof. Learning from the problems of the stadium of Ajax of Holland, the grass is actually moved out of the stadium when there is no game, so that it can grow better than in the not-so sunny confines of the stadia. Luxury boxes and business seats are the rage, as in the US, but the north end is still standing room only for Schalke's most rabid Nordkurve faithful as they sing and chant for the Blue and white. The game this night saw 04 come from behind to beat FC Slovan Liberec of the Czech Republic 2:1.
Equipment: Tickets and clothed in Blue and white.
On the 28th of December something strange will happen in Gelsenkirchen. At "Arena auf Schalke" - a modern football arena - there will be the first indoor Biathon World Team Challenge Race. Most of the top athletes of Biathlon sport, such as Ole Einar Björndalen or Uschi Disl will take part in this mixed relay. Tickets are 15 € and I can't wait to go!