Allianz Arena – The back story

Allianz Arena - The Allianz connection

Allianz was founded in Munich in 1890 and has a long association with the city – it has been the home of its global headquarters for the last 50 years. Since the arena’s inception in 2002, Allianz has been proud to be associated with one of the most innovative and exciting stadiums in the world. Allianz has the naming rights for the stadium and we insured its construction. The Allianz Arena opened in 2005 and is home to two Munich football clubs – FC Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 Munich. 

The Allianz Family of Stadiums now includes the “Allianz Stadium” in Sydney, the Saracens “Allianz Park” rugby stadium in London, the “Allianz Riviera” in Nice, still under construction, and a new stadium in Sao Paolo to be opened in November.

Memorable sporting moments at Allianz Arena

  • The first match at the stadium, between TSV 1860 and 1. FC Nürnberg (3-2), was played on 30th May 2005. One day later Bayern played a friendly against the German national team (4-2).
  • The Allianz Arena hosted six matches at the 2006 FIFA World Cup including the opening match between Germany and Costa Rica
    (4-2) and the semi-final between France and Portugal (1-0).
  • In 2012, the Allianz Arena was the host of the Champions League Final between Chelsea and FC Bayern – the score was 1-1 after extra time and Chelsea won 4-3 on penalties. 

Allianz Arena in figures:

  • 71,137 seating capacity
  • 17 million total audience to date
  • Over 300 football matches since 2005
  • 2,874 individual rhomboid cushions in the innovative outer shell
  • 27,000 metres of under-pitch heating pipes
  • 9,800 parking spaces in Europe’s biggest underground car park
  • 11 million visitors have attended an Allianz Arena tour
  • Visible 50 miles away when illuminated
  • 65.8% of the local population voted in favour of its construction in a 2001 referendum

10 key facts about the Allianz Arena

  1. World class architects 
    Swiss Allianz Arena architects Pierre de Meuron and Jacques Herzog got their first big break designing the much-praised conversion of London’s Bankside power station to create the Tate Modern (opened in 2000). After the Allianz Arena, de Meuron and Herzog collaborated with Chinese designer Ai Weiwei to design the acclaimed Beijing “Bird’s Nest” National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics. One of their current projects is the Tate Modern extension on the south side of the existing building – this will open in 2016.
  2. Rhomboid structure
    The smooth outer facade consists of 2,874 inflatable plastic rhomboid-shaped pillows, each with integrated lighting. A rhombus is a 4-sided shape with sides of equal length, which maths teachers often describe as a “sat-on square”. None of the panels has exactly the same dimensions – the edge lengths range from 4 to 8m.
  3. Light for the grass
    The panels appear white from far away but when examined close up, there are covered in little dots. From a distance, the eye combines the dots and sees white. When nearby, it is possible to see through the foil. It has a transparency of 95%, which provides the essential natural light levels to allow the pitch grass to grow, as well as reducing the need for artificial light in the stadium’s catering and service areas.
  4. Multi-coloured illumination
    Small spotlights are situated in each of the rhomboid pillows – these can light each panel in white, red, blue or other colours. The intention is to light the panels with the colours of the respective home team, or white for the German national football team.  It all adds to the excitement of the building: “Effects, light, top players, drama – this is all part of the show in football” explained the architect Herzog. On March 17th 2013, the Allianz Arena was illuminated in green to celebrate St Patrick’s Day – part of a worldwide event including Egyptian pyramids, the statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro and the London Eye. 
  5. Panel material The rhomboid panels are made of ethylene tetra fluoro ethylene (ETFE): a fluorine-based plastic polymer – it has high corrosion resistance and strength over a wide temperature range. It was used at the Beijing Aquatics Centre (the “Water Cube” of the 2008 Olympics). The panels of the Eden Project in Cornwall are also made of ETFE. Each cushion is connected to a permanent air supply to keep them inflated and has a self-cleaning coating.
  6. Ready for snow
    If snow settles on the roof, 12 sensors measure the weight of the snow and trigger a pressure increase in the cushions to balance out this load. The roof can resist a snowfall height of approximately 1.6m.
  7. Trap door entrance
    The players’ tunnel opens out into the Allianz Arena by means of a giant “trap door” at the edge of the pitch. It rises to a height of 2.3m in 11 seconds with two large hydraulic hinges. This adds to the drama of the occasion, but also means more seating could be installed in the space other stadiums use for a permanent tunnel exit structure.
  8. Allianz Junior Football camp
    Every summer a group of teenagers from all over the world win places to attend the “Allianz Junior Football Camp” at the Allianz Arena to train with FC Bayern’s youth coaches and to visit the famous stadium.
  9. Egalitarian seats
    Every seat in the Allianz arena is the same size and design, whether it’s in an executive box or in one of the three tiers of seating around the pitch. There are 227 special seats for disabled fans at the main entrance level with step-free access.
  10. Nicknames
    German football fans affectionately call the Allianz Arena the “Inflatable Boat”; it is has also been described as a “UFO”, a “Giant Paddling Pool” and a “Shining Mattress”.