Veltins-Arena: FC Schalke 04

Arenaring 1, 45891 Gelsenkirchen

Veltins-Arena opened its doors for the first time in 2001. Back then it had the name Arena AufSchalke but changed when it was sponsored by Veltins. It replaced Schalke’s former stadium, Parkstadion, which opened in 1973 but was showing signs of disrepair by the late 1990s, despite some minor renovation in 1998. The new stadium was built almost in the shadow of Parkstadion and has a capacity of 62,271 for league games and 54,740 for international matches.

Schalke 04 was formed in 1904, hence the ’04’ in the club’s title. The full name of the football club is actually Fußballclub Gelsenkirchen-Schalke 04 e. V and it isn’t just a football team. Instead, Schalke is a full-on sports club, with teams for handball, basketball, table-tennis, athletics and winter sports. Though not one of the largest clubs in Germany, Schalke was revealed to be the 14th-most valuable football club in the world by Forbes magazine in May of 2014.

Stats

Veltins-Arena Stats
Year Opened2001
Capacity62,271
Average Attendance61,386
Record Attendance77,803 (Germany v United States Ice Hockey 2010)
Pitch Size105 x 68 (7140)
Former NameArena AufSchalke
OwnerSchalke 04
SponsorVeltins
Clubs HostedFC Schalke 04
First FixtureFC Schalke 04 v Borussia Dortmund (13/08/2001)
FC Schalke 04 Stats
Year Founded1904
NicknameDie Königsblauen (The Royal Blues), Die Knappen (The Miners)
Club MascotErwin
RivalsBorussia Dortmund
Previous StadiumsGlückauf-Kampfbahn, Parkstadion
KitBlue & White (Home) / White & Light Blue (Away) / Black & Green (Third)
Training GroundGeschäftsstelle
Shirt SponsorGazprom
Team OwnerMembers
Record GoalscorerKlaus Fischer (223)
Record AppearancesKlaus Fichtel (477)

Veltins-Arena Photos

Veltins-Arena Seating Plan & Where to Sit

By Andreas 06 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Veltins-Arena is built in a bowl-style, with continuous seating right the way around. The Nord Kurve is closest to the club’s old stadium, Parkstadion, whilst the Gazprom Tribune runs along the side of the pitch. On the opposite side of the Gazprom Tribune is the Ergro Tribune and that is the main stand of the arena as it contains the dressing rooms, players’ tunnel and more.

FC Schalke 04 Ticket Prices

As with pretty much all top-flight teams around Europe, how much you’ll pay for Schalke tickets depends almost entirely on where you’re going to be within the ground. You can get tickets in the terrace area for around €15, as long as you don’t mind standing up. If you’d rather sit you can go behind one of the goals for around €26 or you can sit in the posh seats for about €52.

How To Get FC Schalke 04 Tickets

You can get tickets through the club’s official website or from the stadium itself. There are numerous official Schalke venues throughout Gelsenkirchen where you pick tickets up and you can get some on the phone if you speak German. Do be aware that tickets sell out quickly for Schalke games so if you’re not booking in advance then you may struggle.

Where to Buy

Getting To Veltins-Arena

Train - Getting a train from London to Gelsenkirchen will take you around six hours, stopping firstly in Brussels, then Cologne, then Oberhausen before arriving in Gelsenkirchen itself. You can then get the Light Rail to VELTINS-Arena Light Rail Station, which is minutes from the ground itself.

Bus - There aren’t really any buses to the stadium, with the tram being your best bet.

Car - If you want to drive then you’ll want to get onto either the A2 autobahn, leaving at Exit 6, or the A42 and coming off at Exit 17. From there you can follow the signs to the ground.

By Air - Dusseldorf Airport is about 45 minutes from the centre of Gelsenkirchen.

Taxi - Getting a taxi from the middle of Gelsenkirchen to the stadium will cost about €15 and take ten minutes.

Parking Near Veltins-Arena

There’s enough space for about 14,000 cars at the ground, so you’re not going to struggle for a spot if you’re there early enough.

Useful Resources

Veltins-Arena Hotels

InterCityHotel Gelsenkirchen - 50+

Ringstr. 1-3, Gelsenkirchen, NW, 45879
This ski hotel has over one hundred rooms, with free Wi-Fi available. There’s a restaurant, a bar, a terrace area and a snack bar. There are four meeting rooms for you to use if you’re there on business and self-parking if you’re going to drive. It’s around three and a half miles to the stadium. More details.

Art Hotel Monopol - 60+

Springestraße 9, Gelsenkirchen, NW, 45894
The Art Hotel Monopol has 35 guest rooms and a restaurant. There’s free Wi-Fi and you can also get some breakfast if you’re peckish in the morning. It’s a three-star hotel and you’ll be able to walk to the Veltins-Arena in about half an hour. More details.

Heiner's Parkhotel - 80+

Am Bugapark 1d, Gelsenkirchen, NW, 45899
This four-star hotel is located in the heart of Gelsenkirchen and has a bar, a restaurant and five meeting rooms. There’s free parking for those of you in a car and there’s also free Wi-Fi within the hotel. If you don’t know the city well then you’ll be pleased that you can get tour and ticket assistance from the staff. It’s two miles from here to the ground. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Veltins-Arena

Charly´s Bummelzug

Bahnhofsvorpl. 10, 45879, Gelsenkirchen (+49 209 23035)
Charly Neumann was a team manager for Schalke and was also a restaurateur. No surprise, then, that he and his daughter opened a bar together that is the de-facto centre of the Schalke supporters group. You can have a pint of pils at the bar in a great atmosphere and watch live sports on big screens.

Cafe Del Sol

Adenauerallee 128, 45891, Gelsenkirchen (+49 209 35976271)
Cafe Del Sol is one of the closest to the stadium on this list where you can get a drink and a bite to eat. It’s not the sort of place that you’ll want to go if you’re going to be watching football before you go to watch the football, but the food’s great and you can even take your dog in there, if you have one with you!

Fliegenpils

Hagenstraße 40, 45896, Gelsenkirchen (+49 209 40239674)
Fliegenpils is known as die sportsbar in Buer, or the place to be if you want to watch live sport. You can drink pretty much whatever you fancy, from beers and shots to soft drinks and coffees. There’s snacks aplenty available for you, too.

Hospitality

There are a large number of executive areas in the Veltins Arena. If you want to go truly high-end then you might consider hiring one the VIP Lodges, for example. If you want to go to one of the lounges then you’ll have plenty of options. The LaOla-Club, the Glückauf-Club and the Libuda Lounge are all available. There’s even a lounge that also has a casino inside it, if that takes your fancy!

Private Hire

The beauty of football clubs with plenty of executive areas is that they can be hired when they’re not in use. Whether you’re looking to host a business meeting, a party or something else then the club will hopefully be able to accommodate you.

About FC Schalke 04

By Mocky04 (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Schalke’s most successful period came in the 1930s and 1940s. Despite finding it hard to come by much success since then, they remain one of the most popular clubs in Germany. In December of 2015 the official number of members was 140,000 making it the second-largest sports club in the country. During their history the club has won seven league titles, five DFB-Pokals, a DFL-Supercup and a UEFA Cup.

Westfalia Schalke was the name of the football club when it first started operating in 1904. It was actually founded by a group of school students and when it played its first games the club wore red and yellow for its colours. They made a number of attempts to join the German Football League but failed, so in 1912 they merged with a gymnastic club called Schalker Turnverein 1877. It was a fraught relationship, with the two clubs separating from time to time. They parted ways for the last time in 1924 and that’s when they took the name of FC Schalke 04.

Veltins-Arena History

Veltins-Arena, originally known as Arena AufSchalke, opened in 2001, though plans for Schalke to have a new stadium were being mooted as early as the 1990s. The Parkstadion had been a great home ground for them but it was starting to look its age by then and the manager, fans and players all hoped to go to a much more modern home. In 1998 the construction of the new stadium was awarded to HBM, a German construction firm, in a deal worth about £150 million.

One of the stadium’s key features is its retractable roof. The fibreglass structure is coated in Teflon and is supported by a truss that stands above the pitch. Whether the roof is open or not depends on things such as the events being held and the weather. When it comes to the events the ground hasn’t just been the home of Schalke matches. In 2004 it was the venue for the Champions League final, whilst in 2006 it was one of the venues used for the FIFA World Cup. One of the quarter-finals was held there, for example.

Future Developments

There are no major plans to develop the stadium at present.

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