Many obstacles had to be overcome and thorny problems solved before the new temple of football - the Allianz Arena - to the north of Munich finally opened for business in May 2005.
March 1997 - Vision
The two Munich clubs achieved some remarkable successes this year. FC Bayern Munich won the Bundesliga again, and TSV 1860 Munich took part in the UEFA Cup. According to Franz Beckenbauer: "Watching football should be fun and a great experience for everyone." And that is precisely why the fans were demanding a new stadium designed for football. But the city didn't want to build an entirely new facility, but rather to redevelop the Olympic Stadium.
September 1997 - Endorsement
The FC Bayern München supervisory board, which was chaired by Bavaria's Minister President Edmund Stoiber, voted to build a stadium. Around 500 million Deutschmarks were to be invested in the project, but the city stuck to the idea of redeveloping the Olympic Stadium.
January 2001 - Alliance
After lengthy debate on whether to redevelop or build from scratch, Bayern and 1860 formed a coalition to construct a new stadium for their teams. A seating capacity of 66,000 and modern architecture were to attract spectators to the stadium, but the city of Munich first had to find a suitable location for the football arena.
February 2001 - Search for a site
Five potential locations were found. At a new meeting of all those in charge, the following sites were considered:
- the area north of the Riem trade fair
- the south of the Olympic Park
- the university sports grounds
July 2001 - Fröttmaning
The decision was made that the new site would be in Fröttmaning. However, the stadium committee still had reason to be nervous, because the citizens of Munich would have the last word in a referendum on 21 October 2001. The campaign to gain votes began.
August 2001 - Design competition
Elite architects from around the world vied for the honour of designing the stadium. Bayern and 1860 announced the eight architects that made the shortlist, but it was a race against time, as the designs had to be finished by November.
21 October 2001 - The referendum
"A new stadium in Fröttmaning - yes or no?" The citizens of Munich voted by an overwhelming majority for the new stadium. In addition, there was an almost unanimous city council decision to build the new stadium and to bear the infrastructure costs (insofar as these are not to be borne by the state or federal government). There was now nothing standing in the way of a modern football stadium.
November 2001: The shortlist
Two of the eight designs made it to the next round. Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, as well as Meinhard von Gerkan and Volkwin Marg of Hamburg, emerged as the winners of the first round.
December 2001: Stadion GmbH
Munich's two major football clubs, Bayern and 1860, each took a 50% stake in stadium construction and the operating company, München Stadion GmbH.
8 February 2002 - Herzog / de Meuron
The highest evaluation committee for the stadium construction project in Munich made its recommendation, and the developers - Bayern and 1860 - selected the model submitted by the Herzog/de Meuron architects. It was announced at the same time that Allianz AG had won the naming rights until at least 30 June 2021 and that the new home stadium of the two clubs would be called the Allianz Arena.
May 2002: Building application
After completion of the regional planning application in December as a precondition to obtaining the right to build, the building application was officially submitted.
21 October 2002: Laying of foundation stone
Work officially began on the construction of Europe's most modern stadium when the foundation stone was lowered from the heavens accompanied by a spectacular laser show in the presence of Germany's Minister of the Interior Otto Schily, Bavarian Minister President Dr Edmund Stoiber, Mayor Christian Ude and other guests from the worlds of sports, politics and business.
The historical content of the foundation stone:
- All Munich daily newspapers: SZ | TZ | AZ | Münchner Merkur | Bild München edition
- Building plans
- Money (Euro coin set with minting date of 2002)
- Weight: approx. 150kg
20 December 2002: Brand awareness
According to a poll carried out by market research institute Sport+Markt, the Allianz Arena was already the second-most recognised brand at a national level. The poll questioned football fans about business names in association with football stadiums.
13 February 2003: Planning permission
The Allianz Arena passed the final bureaucratic hurdle as planning permission was granted. München Stadion GmbH joint managing directors Dr Fritz Scherer and Karl-Heinz Wildmoser Jr. took delivery of the documents at the City Planning Department.
19 September 2003: Construction proceeds apace
Mayor Christian Ude marked the rapid progress at the site by symbolically pouring the 100,000th cubic meter of concrete at a reception for the entire construction team.
04 November 2003: 2006 FIFA World Cup
World governing body FIFA's Organising Committee finalised the schedule for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. The Allianz Arena would host the prestigious opening match, three group games, one quarter-final and one semi-final - a total of six games.
20 November 2003: Another milestone
The first of the 12 main steel beams for the roof of the Allianz Arena was spectacularly lifted into place and secured. At the time, 700 construction builders were working in two daily shifts on the site from 6.30am until around midnight. They even worked a full 24 hours for the construction of the esplanade.
26 March 2004: Basic structural work completed
The basic shell of the stadium was completed on schedule. The final 4.5 cubic meters of concrete were ceremonially poured into the last area in the stadium.
17 May 2004: Allianz Arena earns Fire Prevention Award
The Allianz Arena won the 2003 German Fire Prevention Award for its outstanding fire prevention plan. The award is the principal accolade in Germany for fire prevention in buildings.
26 May 2004: First foil panel mounted
The first of 2,874 air-filled foil cushions, which form the approximately 66,500 m² laminate facade, was mounted on the south stand.
5 July 2004: Esplanade finished
The last concreted ceilings were poured, completing structural work on the esplanade. The biggest multi-storey car park in Europe was constructed in approximately 14 months. At 543 metres long, the four-story car park has space for 9,800 vehicles.
18 September 2004: First seat installed
After all the pre-cast terracing elements and stairway blocks were mounted in all three tiers, the first silver-grey seats were installed in the executive box area.
21 October 2004: First official lighting test
The first official lighting test on the facade was carried out using 120 of the foil cushions, an area of approximately 4,200 square metres, in front of Mayor Christian Ude. The total area of illuminated area covers 25,500 m².
27 October 2004: 2006 FIFA World Cup
FIFA's Organising Committee confirmed the Germany national team would contest the opening match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup on 9 June 2006 in Munich.
5 November 2004: External facade
The entire external facade was completed. Within a year, an approximately 12,000 m² facade had been put in place, of which some 5,000 m² is glass.
13 December 2004: Address
The Allianz Arena received an official postal address:
München Stadion GmbH
13 January 2005: Commendation
The VdK Bayern disabled persons' association commended the Allianz Arena Stadion GmbH management for outstanding disability access planning and implementation at the stadium.
28 February 2005: First video wall installed
In icy cold weather, the first of the two 100 m², 12 tonne video walls (LED screens featuring around 150,000 pixels) was hoisted into place 42.5 m above the south stand.
8 March 2005: Last foil panel installed
The exterior of the Allianz Arena was completed as the last of the 2,784 foil cushions was installed on the north side, giving a total area of 66,500 m² (38,000 m² of roof and 28,500 m² of facade).
16 April 2005: Playing surface laid
In just two days, 8,000 m² of rolled turf was delivered and immediately laid on the 72 x 111m pitch at the Allianz Arena.
18 April 2005: Allianz Arena logo installed
Each weighing between 250 and 500 kg, the 12 illuminated letters of the 'Allianz Arena' logo were mounted in two places on the side of the new stadium.
30 April 2005: Completion
Lead construction company Alpine Bau GmbH officially handed over the completed Allianz Arena to new owners München Stadion GmbH.
4 May 2005: Infrastructure
The road network round the stadium was completed. The newly built connecting roads were officially opened on 4 May together with the new Fröttmaning underground station.
19 May 2005: Official dry run
Veterans' teams representing Bayern and 1860 met in a pre-opening match at the Allianz Arena in front of 30,000 spectators, as access routes, admission procedures, catering and many other systems underwent a real-life test.
30 & 31 May 2005: Official opening
1860 were the first of the home teams to take the new field for the official inaugural match, which featured a traditional Bavarian derby against Nuremberg. Bayern faced the Germany national team in the second celebration the following day. Both matches were sold-out.
15 June 2005: Bernd Rauch steps down
Allianz Arena München Stadion GmbH managing director Bernd Rauch passed on the reins to his successor, Peter Kerspe.
5 August 2005: First official match
A capacity 66,000 crowd witnessed the first-ever competitive fixture at the new stadium as Bayern beat Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-0 in their opening Bundesliga match of the 2005/06 season.
16 January 2006: Capacity increase
City authorities approved a 3,901 increase of the capacity to 69,901.
27 April 2006: Bayern Munich takes sole ownership
FC Bayern Munich became sole owners of the Allianz Arena after purchasing TSV 1860 Munich's 50 per cent share in holding company Allianz Arena Munich Stadium GmbH for €11 million. 1860 had the possibility of buying back their share by repaying the money with interest within four years.
13 May 2006: The first titles
In their first year at the Allianz Arena, Bayern won the domestic double of Bundesliga and DFB Cup.
9 June to 5 July 2006: FIFA World Cup 2006
Six matches were held at the Allianz Arena during the FIFA World Cup, involving 11 different countries. A total of 396,000 spectators watched the sold-out games, including the opening match between Germany and Costa Rica (4-2), Germany’s second round match against Sweden (2-0) and the semi-final between France and Portugal (1-0).
23 July 2006: Standing blocks in the south
A few weeks before kicking off the second Bundesliga season in the Allianz Arena, the south stand was developed into two standing blocks for the home fans.
28 April 2008: 1860 remain as tenants
Originally agreed until 30 June 2010, 1860's right to repurchase their 50 per cent stake in Allianz Arena München Stadium GmbH was publically abolished on Friday, 25 April 2008. On this date, representatives of 1860, Bayern and the Allianz Arena München Stadium GmbH attended the conference in Munich.
All three parties agreed that 1860 was thus relieved of its obligations, making FC Bayern München AG the sole shareholder of the Allianz Arena. However, 1860 would remain, as agreed, tenants in a stadium lease contract at the Allianz Arena until 30 June 2025.
19 May 2012: UEFA Champions League final
The Allianz Arena was the venue for the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League final. Bayern faced Chelsea in the legendary “Finale dahoam”. In an exciting game, despite having the advantage of playing in their own stadium, the Germany's most successful club lost 4-3 on penalties (1-1 a.e.t.).
25 May 2012: Opening of the FC Bayern Museum
The opening of the FC Bayern Museum in the Allianz Arena also meant the opening of the biggest club museum in Germany. After a construction period of 11 months, the 3,050 m² exhibition containing the then 112-year history of Bayern Munich opened to visitors for the first time.
29 August 2012: Further increase in capacity
Through the installation of additional seats - mainly in the back row of the upper stand – the stadium was now able to hold 71,137 spectators in domestic matches. In international matches (Champions League), the capacity was limited to 67,812.
11 February 2014: Allianz becomes a shareholder of FC Bayern
With the entry of insurer Allianz as a fourth shareholder of FC Bayern München AG along with FC Bayern, Adidas and Audi, the Munich-based company also assured the naming rights to the arena until 2041.
19 September 2014: Euro 2020 at the Allianz Arena
UEFA announced that the Allianz Arena would be one of the 13 venues for the European Championship in 2020. Three group matches and one quarter-final were set be played in Munich. Should Germany qualify for the tournament, they will play at least two group matches in front of their home crowd at the Allianz Arena.
14 January 2015: Further increase of capacity to 75,000
The capacity of the Allianz Arena was increased to 75,000 for domestic matches and 70,000 for international matches.
June/July 2017: Largest video walls in Europe installed
In the 2017 summer break, the video walls were replaced by two 198.72 m² screens. These are twice as big as their predecessors, use the latest technology and are the largest in a European stadium. Furthermore, new LED high brightness floodlights ensure much brighter light than the previous versions and also require less electricity to run. The new lamps also come equipped with entertainment lights which can change colours for special effects.
12 July 2017: Stadium contract with 1860 cancelled
As a result of 1860 Munich's relegation to the fourth tier at the end of the 2016/17 season, the lease contract between TSV München von 1860 GmbH & Co. KGaA and Allianz Arena München Stadion GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of FC Bayern München AG, was cancelled. It meant the Allianz Arena was no longer TSV 1860 Munich’s home ground. The agreement precludes 1860 returning to the stadium at a later date.
June/July 2018: Interior changed to Bayern colours
Following the irreversible departure of 1860 in summer 2017, the long-standing desire of Bayern fans to make the Allianz Arena also look like the home of FC Bayern Munich was fulfilled. Therefore, the middle tier was filled out with red seats a year later. The seats in the north stand form the Bayern logo. The name ‘FC Bayern München’ is spelt out in the east stand, while the motto ‘Mia san mia’ is in the lower tier of the west stand. All interior staircases, cascade stairs and the exterior walls of the kiosks were painted red. In the south stand, scenes from the club’s history were also immortalised on the side walls of the kiosks as part of a fan project.
June/July 2019: Renovation during the 2019 summer break
During the 2019 summer break, several renovation projects were carried out:
- Replacement of the entire stadium sound system
- Number plate recognition in car parks P1-P3
- Extension of the decorative lighting (outer ring can be illuminated/joints between the ceiling were installed)
- Reconstruction of the esplanade (extension of toilet facilities, increase in toilet capacity in car parks P1-P3 under the esplanade, renewal of grass areas, relocation of the baggage storage area to the former east ticket office)
- Construction of a roof over the south entrance area
- Construction of an away entrance and car park
- Expansion of bicycle parking spaces
- Construction of motorcycle parking spaces in the north coach park
- Construction of a taxi lane
- Renovation of the FC Bayern Store
- Increase in the number of kiosk paintings
Spring 2020: COVID-19 and its consequences
The global COVID-19 pandemic saw the Bundesliga, DFB Cup and international club competitions suspended, as was the case in the majority of European sports competitions. The Allianz Arena was also forced to close its doors to visitors temporarily. A comfortable 2-0 win over Augsburg in front of 75,000 people on 8 March 2020 was the last Bayern match at home in front of spectators for some time. The Allianz Arena closed to all visitors on 16 March.
17 March 2020: Euro 2020 postponed
Even Euro 2020, which had been planned as a pan-European tournament in the summer and included four matches at the Allianz Arena, was postponed until summer 2021.
16 May 2020: Re-opening under strict regulations
Once the Bavarian and German government had relaxed the rules on social contact due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Allianz Arena re-opened to visitors under hygiene regulations. The Bundesliga and later the DFB Cup were also resumed under a strict hygiene concept drawn up by the DFL, although the ban on spectators in stadiums remained in place for the time being. It meant Bayern were able to continue their winning run in the league and would eventually wrap up their eighth straight Bundesliga title, somewhat late in the middle of June. The long 2019/20 season at the Allianz Arena finally came to an end on 8 August with the Champions League round of 16 second leg against Chelsea. The pandemic meant that the European champions would be decided in a finals tournament in Lisbon instead of the usual method. The changes also meant that Istanbul, who had been designed hosts for 2020, were instead awarded the 2021 final, while the planned 2022 Champions League final at the Allianz Arena was postponed by a year until 2023.
June/July 2020: Four Euro 2020 matches at the Allianz Arena
After being postponed by a year due to the pandemic, Euro 2020 was able to take place normally in the summer and, as planned, four matches were played in Munich. The Allianz Arena was the venue for all three of Germany’s group fixtures in the so-called ‘group of death’ against world champions France (15 June), holders Portugal (19 June) and Hungary. Surprisingly, none of these teams made it to the quarter-final that was held at the Allianz Arena on 2 July – instead, Belgium and Italy provided a thrilling contest in the last eight. At all four matches, up to 14,500 spectators were allowed in, the most since the start of the pandemic. The Euros therefore also served as a successful test run for the return to normal operations.
9 February 2022: Allianz Arena named as venue for NFL games
The City of Munich and the Allianz Arena applied to host games of the NFL International Series from 2022 to 2025 on 15 December 2021. Other cities to apply were Frankfurt and Düsseldorf. At the start of February 2022, the NFL announced that the Allianz Arena would be the venue for two of four regular-season games in the International Series. The first match will be played in Munich in 2022, becoming the first sporting event other than football to be played in FC Bayern’s home stadium.