The Arena AufSchalke (currently known as Veltins-Arena for sponsorship reasons) was constructed between 1998 and 2001 as a replacement to FC Schalke 04’s outdated home of Parkstadion. The first match played at the stadium was a friendly between Schalke and Borrusia Dortmund, finishing in a 0-0 draw on the 13th August 2001.
When it opened, the stadium was one of the most technically advanced in the world with a retractable roof, movable pitch and centrally suspended video screen. The venue has a capacity of 62,271 with the use of both seating and standing, which is reduced to 54,740 for international matches. The first Germany international was a 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Finland which finished 0-0 on the 6th October 2001.
The venue hosted its first major event in 2004, the UEFA Champions League Final between AS Monaco and FC Porto, in which the Portuguese side won 3-0.
Two years later the Arena AufSchalke (known as FIFA World Cup Stadium Gelsenkirchen) hosted five matches at the 2006 FIFA World Cup – four group matches and the quarter-final in which Portugal defeated England 3-1 on penalties after Wayne Rooney was famously sent off.
The stadium was designed with versatility in mind and has hosted a variety of different events including American Football, Biathlon, Boxing, Dart Motorcycle Speedway, a then world record attendance for a Ice Hockey match in the opening match of the 2010 IIHF World Championship and numerous concerts.
Tenants: FC Schalke 04 (2. Bundesliga)
Tickets at Arena AufSchalke
FC Schalke 04: Tickets for the majority of Schalke matches sell out but you will usually be able to secure a ticket if bought in advance. Standing tickets cost €15, with seated tickets ranging from €26 to €52. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone +49 (0) 1805-150810 (Ticket Hotline), or at the S04 ServiceCenter at the stadium (Monday to Friday from 9am-6pm and Saturday from 9am-2pm or until kick-off on match days).
Germany international football team: Tickets for any Germany international matches played at Arena AufSchalke will be available on the official DFB website.
Location & Travel to Arena AufSchalke
The Arena AufSchalke is located on the Berger Field in the north of Gelsenkirchen in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
Airport – The closest international airports to Gelsenkirchen are at Düsseldorf (40 kilometres), Dortmund (45 kilometres) and Cologne (90 kilometres). The airports serve a number of European and International destinations with Düsseldorf Airport being the largest. It is possible to reach Gelsenkirchen from each of the airports by train, with the journey time from Düsseldorf Airport being 30 minutes.
Driving & Parking – There are a total of 14,000 parking spaces in the vicinity of the stadium. Take exits 6 (Gelsenkirchen-Buer) or 7 (Herten) if on the A2 motorway and exits 16 (Gelsenkirchen-Zentrum) or 17 (Gelsenkirchen-Schalke) if on the A42 and follow directions to the stadium.
Tram – Take the tram 302 from Gelsenkirchen’s main station (Gelsenkirchen Hauptbahnhof) in the direction of GE-Buer. After approximately 15 minutes you will arrive at the stadium’s tram stop.
Train – Gelsenkirchen Hauptbahnhof is the main rail station, located south-east of the city. There are services to Bochum, Cologne, Dortmund, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Essen and Hamburg among others. From the station you can reach the stadium via tram as above.
Where to stay in Gelsenkirchen
Arena AufSchalke Stadium Tour
75 minute tours of the Arena AufSchalke usually take place at 12pm and 3pm from Tuesday to Friday, and 11am, 12:45pm and 2pm on the weekend (excluding matchday). Entrance costs €9 for Adults and €5 for children and teenagers up to 21 years old, which also includes entrance to the Schalke Museum.
Further information and booking is available on the official website.