RheinEnergieStadion: FC Cologne

Aachener Str. 999, Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, 50933, Germany
Fynn Korsen / Flickr.com

1. Fußball-Club Köln 01/07 e. V are perhaps better known as FC Köln, in German, or FC Cologne in English. They play their games at the RheinEnergieStadion, a football ground formerly known as Müngersdorfer Stadion but renamed because of sponsorship. The German side was formed in 1948 when two different clubs were merged. Kölner BC dated back to 1901, whilst the wonderfully named Spielvereinigung 1907 Köln-Sülz was formed in 1907 and merged with Fußball Club 1908 Hertha Sülz in 1919. If that all sounds a little bit complicated then don’t worry about it. The most important to know is that the club has been called FC Köln, to use the German name, since 1949.

Equally as complicated is the history of the stadium that the club plays its football in. We’ll tell you about it in more detail in the 'Stadium History' section later, but for now you should be aware that the ground that they play in now is a completely different one to that which first opened its doors in 1923. That ground was demolished and rebuilt in the 1970s, with the stadium that replaced it being completely renovated in 2004 to make it into the one we know now. The club is actually the fourth largest in Germany, having enjoyed numerous successes over the years. That includes two Bundesliga titles in both 1964 and 1978.

Stats

RheinEnergieStadion Stats
Year Opened1923
Capacity50,000
Average Attendance49,571
Record Attendance76,000 (Germany v Austria (1953))
Pitch Size105 x 68 (7140)
Former NameMüngersdorfer Stadion
OwnerKölner Sportstätten GmbH
SponsorRheinEnergie AG
Clubs HostedKölner BC 01, SpVgg Sülz 07, 1. FC Köln, Cologne Centurions, Germany national football team
First FixtureGermany v Netherlands (20/11/1927)
FC Cologne Stats
Year Founded1948
NicknameDie Geißböcke (The Billy Goats)
Club MascotHennes
RivalsBorussia Monchengladbach, Schalke, Bayern Munich, Bayern Leverkusen
KitWhite (Home) / Red (Away) / Grey with Neon Yellow (Third)
Training GroundGeißbockheim
Shirt SponsorREWE
Team Owner1. FC Köln GmbH & Co. KGaA
Record GoalscorerHans Schäfer (304)
Record AppearancesWolfgang Overath (542)

RheinEnergieStadion Photos

RheinEnergieStadion Seating Plan & Where to Sit

Tomas Caspers / Flickr.com

RheinEnergieStadion is designed in a more traditionally English style of having four separate stands rather the continental style of a continuous bowl of seating. The North and South stands are behind the two goals, whilst the East and West Tribunes run along the side of the pitch. The West Tribune is what would typically be considered as the main stand, featuring the dugouts and executive boxes.

FC Cologne Ticket Prices

How much you’ll pay for your ticket depends on a number of things. How old are you? Where in the ground would you like to sit? What competition is it that you’re heading to watch? As an example, if you’d gone to see Cologne play Hamburg in 2017 you’d have paid anywhere between €9.50 and €65 depending on the answers to those variables.

How To Get FC Cologne Tickets

As with most major football clubs in Europe, the best place to head for tickets to Cologne matches is the club’s official website. There is also a phone number that you can call and the staff usually speak English, or if you’d rather than you’ll likely be able to get a ticket at the stadium directly if the match is against a less popular opposition.

Getting To RheinEnergieStadion

Swap Start/End

Train - It takes about eleven hours to get the train from London to Cologne, normally going via Brussels. Once you’re in the city you’ll have around five miles to travel to get from the city centre to the ground. The best way to get to the stadium is probably by tram, with special ones put on from the Hauptbahnhof Train Station to the ground on match days. You can also get Tram 1 from Neumarkt Station.

Bus - Not everyone likes to get the tram, so if you’d rather get a bus then number 143 stops within walking distance of the RheinEnergieStadion.

Car - The main roads that run closest to the stadium are the A1 and the A4, but if you’d like more specific information than that then you might want to get a sat-nav or something.

By Air - Cologne/Bonn Airport is the closest to the centre of the city, located less than fifteen miles away.

Taxi - A taxi from the centre of Cologne out to the ground will take about twenty minutes, traffic depending. It will cost you somewhere between €15 and €20.

Parking Near RheinEnergieStadion

There are about seven and a half thousand car parking spaces at the ground. Not a huge amount considering the number of people that can attend matches, so you might want to have a look around the local area to see if there are any spaces without parking restrictions.

Useful Resources

RheinEnergieStadion Hotels

Mercure Hotel Köln West - £60+

Horbeller Str. 1, Cologne, NW, 50858
If you’re not sure where to stay in a foreign city then a chain hotel is always a good place to start. The Mercure in Cologne is about half an hour away from the ground if you’re walking, which you might not want to do considering there’s a fitness suite on-site. That includes an indoor pool, if you’re the sort of person that enjoys a good swim. There’s a restaurant and bar, a terrace area if the weather’s nice and self-parking is available. There’s also free Wi-Fi and you can get breakfast in the hotel in the morning. More details.

Dorint Hotel Köln Junkersdorf - £70+

Aachener Str. 1059-1061, Cologne, NW, 50858
There are 145 rooms in the Dorint Hotel, meaning it’s not quite as big as the Mercure but it’s still impressive. As you’d expect from such a large hotel, there’s a restaurant and a bar area as well as a business centre. There’s self-parking for those of you that might be driving, plus free Wi-Fi if you want to stay in touch with work or people at home. The hotel is a little close to the RheinEnergieStadion than the Mercure, but it’s still about half an hour away on foot. More details.

Garten-Hotel Ponick - £85+

Königsbergerstrasse 5-9, Cologne, 50858
The Garten-Hotel is a little less imposing than the other two choices on our list. There are just over thirty rooms available here, with no restaurant on-site. There’s a bar where you can grab a little bit of breakfast the next day. The hotel has a garden and a terrace area for your enjoyment when the weather’s nice or you just need a little bit of fresh air. It’s the furthest hotel from the stadium but it’s still not a crazy distance. As you’d expect from a decent hotel in this day and age, you can get on the internet thanks to free Wi-Fi. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near RheinEnergieStadion

Barney Vallelys Irish Pub

Kleine Budengasse 7-9, 50667, Köln (+49 221 2570820)
Much as a chain hotel is the best place to head to if you don't know where to stay in a city, so too is an Irish bar the number one location for those of you that aren’t sure where to drink. You’ll get a welcome just like at home, with added craic just to make sure you’re having a good time. The beauty of Barney Vallelys is that you can watch live sport from all of the major competitions, including the Premier League and the Champions League. Food isn’t on the list here, but you’ll be able to sup all of the usual drinks you’d expect to find in an Irish bar.

Joe Champs

Hohenzollernring 1-3, 50672, Köln (+49 221 2572854)
Joe Champs is, as the name suggests, an American sports bar. Food very much is on the list here, with the sorts of dishes you’d expect to be able to buy in the US on the menu. When it comes to drinks you’ll find American beers, cocktails and more than a few German alternatives to both. Perhaps the most important thing is that you can can watch pretty much any major sporting event in Joe Champs, including Bundesliga, La Liga and Europa League games.

Underground

Vogelsanger Str. 200, 50825, Köln (+49 221 542326)
Underground is the sort of bar that you’ll want to head to if you enjoy a slightly different experience when you have a drink. It’s something of a grunge bar, but that just informs the decor and general feel. There are table football tables, loads of drink options and plenty of live music to keep you entertained. In fact, the live music is probably the main feature of Underground, so it’s where you’ll want to head after the game if you’ve enjoyed yourself and fancy carrying on having fun.

Hospitality

savv / Flickr.com

There are 48 VIP lounges located within the RheinEnergieStadion, so if you’re hoping to find somewhere exciting to watch Cologne matches then you’re in luck. There are three additional event and incentive lounges, along with 18,000 business seats and a stadium restaurant.

Private Hire

Motivational workshops, company meets, personal celebrations; there are many different events you might wish to host at the RheinEnergieStadion and if you wish to do so then get in touch with the club who can tell you more.

Stadium Tours & Museum

How long it will take to complete a tour of 1. FC Köln’s home depends entirely on which tour your opt for. The club operates numerous different ones including the 'Joke Tour' and the 'Master Tour'. Not only does the time the tour will take differ with each variation, so too does the amount you’ll have to pay for the pleasure. You’ll pay between about €10 and €39, so there’s a tour for a every budget. There’s a museum at the ground that you can visit separate from the tour. That will cost you €2 or €7 if you want to do a guided tour.

About FC Cologne

By Danny Steaven (Own work) [CC BY 1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

1. FC Köln was founded in 1948 when two other clubs were merged together, namely Kölner Ballspiel-Club 1901 and SpVgg Sülz 07. The club began to play its matches in the Oberliga West and it didn’t take long for them to gain some success; they won their divisional title in 1954. When the new Bundesliga was created in 1963, 1. FC Köln was one of the first sixteen teams to play in it. Once again it didn’t take long for the club to enjoy some success, winning the inaugural Bundesliga season and gaining the right to play in the next season’s European Cup. They played Liverpool in the quarter-final but nothing could separate the two sides after three matches and, because penalties hadn’t been invented then, Köln went out on the toss of a coin!

The club has enjoyed almost as much success as disappointment over the years, winning the Bundesliga twice but finishing as runners-up five times. They have won four DFB-Pokals, but reached the final without emerging victorious six times. Perhaps the most frustrating thing for the Cologne when it comes to the DFB-Pokal finals that they missed out is the fact that they reached final three times in the 1970s but lost every match. Having said that, in 2002 the club failed to score a goal for more than eleven and a half games, setting an unwanted Bundesliga record in the process. One other thing worth mentioning about Cologne is the fact that, like many German clubs, it’s not just a football team. 1. FC Köln is a sports club, also including handball, table-tennis and gymnastics clubs.

RheinEnergieStadion History

By G. Friedrich (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

If 1. FC Köln’s history is a convoluted one then that’s as nothing compared to the club’s home ground. It originally opened in 1923 under the name Müngersdorfer Stadion, costing just shy of 48 million Deutsche Mark to build. Its opening not only gave the city of Cologne more prestige in Germany but it also brought the region more sporting success. It’s difficult to know what the first official match was at the stadium, but it hosted its first international match in 1927 when the Netherlands came to play Germany. The national side has only lost once when they’ve played at the ground, which is pretty impressive!

When the stadium opened in 1923 it was originally a running track, something that allowed them to invite non-sports people to run on the track when they held meets there. In 1929 over 38,000 people turned up to one such meet. In 1972 the stadium was completely renovated, with the process taking three years to complete. It was renovated again from 2002 until 2004, getting it ready to host five matches for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The renovation that took place after the turn of the millennium did not put the running track back in place, instead allowed the supporters to be much closer to the pitch and therefore the action of the game.

Future Developments

By G. Friedrich (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

There has been a plan for some time to add 25,000 seats to the RheinEnergieStadion, though nothing concrete has been put in place to do that as of yet. Obviously if anything changes on that front then we’ll let you know.

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