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BayArena

Leverkusen, North Rhine-Westphalia

Home of the Bayer 04 Leverkusen

3.3

3.9

BayArena (map it)
Bismarckstraße 122
Leverkusen, North Rhine-Westphalia 51373
Germany


Bayer 04 Leverkusen website

BayArena website

Year Opened: 1956

Capacity: 30,210

There are no tickets available at this time.

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The Schmuckkästchen

Back in 1932 the club obtained the location of the current stadium, which was located right in the Bayer factory area, in one of the workers villages that was part of the Bayer plant. The ‘Stadion am Stadtpark’ had two wooden stands and could hold up to 15,000 spectators.

Since August 2, 1958, the BayArena has been the home of Bundesliga club Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Originally named "Ulrich-Haberland-Stadion," (after a former president of Bayer AG, the chemical company and founder of the club) the stadium then had a capacity of only 20,000 seats. During that period, Bayer was playing in the second league in Germany. In 1963, at the 100 year anniversary of Bayer 04, the football stadium installed floodlighting.

As the club became more prominent in German football, gaining promotion to the Bundesliga, the club decided the stadium had to be renovated. In 1986 it was converted into a more modern sports facility with a capacity of 27,000 spectators. The renovation process took quite some time, as a terrace behind one of the goals was debated as to whether or not to include in the overhaul. Due to this discussion, the renovation took more than a decade to complete and the capacity was still only 22,500.

In 1998, the stadium was renamed BayArena and at the same time a hotel was built partly inside the complex. Some rooms and the restaurant of the hotel are overlooking the field. At last, the initial renovation was completed. During this period, the stadium was turned into an all-seated venue.

The municipality of Leverkusen offered itself as host city for the World Cup 2006. At this stage, the stadium was too small, but there were plans to expanded the BayArena to 40,000 seats. However, this proved to be impractical, as it would mean that on normal match days, the stadium would be half full, so the municipality withdrew. Instead, it was agreed that the German national team would use the BayArena as a training facility during the World Cup. Contrary to that agreement, though, Jürgen Klinsmann former coach of "Die Mannschaft" (Germany’s national football team) preferred Berlin over Leverkusen. As compensation, the BayArena was awarded as host for two international matches of Die Mannschaft.

After the success of the club in the 2000s, which saw them appear in the UEFA Champions League for multiple years, hence increasing the revenue and the popularity of the club, Bayer Leverkusen decided to upgrade its stadium again.

In 2008, the stadium expansion was started with the construction of a second tier and a brand new roof, as well as the old green seats being replaced by red seats, also raising the capacity of the BayArena to 30,210. Also the visitors area was expanded to 3,000 spots and a larger hospitality/VIP area was created, now with a capacity of over 2,000 people. There was even a discussion to put up a large Bayer 04 logo on the rooftop, so people could see the stadium and of course the logo from the air. After the rise of steel prices, this ‘funny object’ would have costed 70 mln euro. It didn’t pass.

The stadium is nicknamed the ‘Schmuckkästchen’ which translates to jewelry box in German. It is unclear why it ever received this nickname. Also, the club is infamously named ‘Neverkusen,’ because they have never won a trophy of any importance.

3.3

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    3

Welcome to Germany, the country of beer and bratwurst! The BayArena is stuffed with it, but thankfully these aren't your only options. There is a variety of beers, sodas, hot dogs, hamburgers, and bratwurst on offer, prices being slightly higher than a normal bar or fast food joint. Beers go for € 3.90 (per half litre) with two choices of brands. Sodas are € 3.70 (half litre) and you could even expect gluhwein (mulled wine), if it's the season, for a nice €2.70. When you buy your drinks inside the BayArena, you need to buy a BayArena Card. This card is free, but you have to make a deposit of €10 to obtain the card and of course get some balance on it. After the match, you can return the card and get your deposit and balance back. If you run out of balance, you can conveniently upload your card with one of the people in the concession area. They are all over the place.

Food is at another stall and you can get a bratwurst (€2.50), pretzel or just a candy bar (€ 1.50).

You could indulge in a binge drinking session, but that would not be very profitable. Beer is cheap in Germany and the BayArena is not the cheapest option.

Atmosphere    3

Although Bayer Leverkusen is a rather small club in German football and has a smaller fan base than most of the 'Traditionsvereine,' don't expect that to influence the atmosphere during the match. The usual 90 minute choir singing by German fans is obligatory, and probably the acoustics are boosted by the impressive roof overhanging all stands of the stadium. The fanatic Leverkusen supporters are housed on the short end of the BayArena, which is a standing area that can be turned into seating spots if there would be a UEFA organized match.

It must be said that most of the atmosphere is coming from behind the goal and from the away side, the rest of the stadium is rather quiet.

Neighborhood    3

The BayArena is situated in central Leverkusen, where the A1 and A3 motorways intersect. The stadium lies between the Leverkusen Stadtpark and a large Sportpark in a rather green area. The area itself is not worth a visit on its own but if you are there for the match, you have some options for a pre-match drink.

There is one biergarten on the left side of the hotel (facing the hotel entrance). Right behind that spot you will find a McDonalds, if you're in for some American grub. Behind the McDonalds is a sports centre, which has an adjacent biergarten as well. Here you can have a great time if you don't want the hassle of having to travel back and forth.

Leverkusen itself is a forgettable place, but you can take a train from Leverkusen Schlebusch station and get off at Cologne's main railway station. This is just a 15 minute ride. The historic Cologne city centre and Dom are really worth a visit and of course you can get yourself set up properly for the game at either Gaffel am Dom or Fruh am Dom, the two best known beer houses in Cologne with a combined seating capacity of over 1,800!

Fans    4

The fans of Leverkusen are known to be in a smaller number and they are known not to be the most aggressive or fanatic in Germany. Expect the atmosphere before the match to be friendly, with supporters from both clubs mingling around the ground and meeting in the biergarten to discuss the upcoming game. Visiting supporters of rival clubs such as Schalke, Dusseldorf, Dortmund, Cologne and so forth will not be met as friendly.

Leverkusen has one of the smallest supporter groups in the Ruhr-area. Most of the clubs in the Ruhr-area are living in the shadow of German giants FC Schalke'04 and Borussia Dortmund, which have the largest supporters groups and largest stadiums in the area.

Access    3

The BayArena lies adjacent to the A1, but it doesn't have its own exit. The stadium is best reached from the A3 by taking the exit Opladen, but you will have problems finding a parking spot. In the few streets in the area, there are only private parking spaces for local residents. Therefore, Bayer offers two hours before the start of the game free parking on Kurtekotten, which lies directly to the overground metro station "Bayerwerk" (S-Bahn). Get off at stop "Leverkusen Mitte," and the BayArena lies only 10 minutes walking from this point. You just have to cross the Stadtpark. You could also park in the city centre, and walk through the Stadtpark, picking up a bratwurst along the stroll. It's a 15 minute walk and it's a good chance to meet some local fans.

Return on Investment    4

Tickets are priced in three categories depending on the opponent. Tickets cost €32 for a second tier seating spot on the long side of the pitch, and there is a 5€ fee on top of that. For top matches, these places will cost you €56, while for less attractive opponents you will pay €27 for a ticket. Tickets can be bought online very easy via the Bayer 04 website. Even better, you can trade tickets on the TicketBorse, which allows you to sell your ticket if you might not be able to attend the game after all. I've had the experience and it worked out pretty well!

The BayArena is a very modern football arena with all the facilities you should expect from a modern football ground. Atmosphere and fan scores aren't on the top of the bill but you will have a good time and see some decent football. It's worth the money.

Extras    3

Just as most of the Bundesliga clubs tend to do, Bayer Leverkusen is also offering stadium tours. A mentionable fact is that Bayer offers five kinds of different tours. You can book a classic tour, a kid's tour, a barrier-free tour, a classic-plus tour, or a special tour. The classic tour, which is the most common, can be booked for €9 (adults) and €5 (kids).

Of course there's a fan shop in the stadium, selling a large variety of memorabilia.

Final Thoughts

When you visit for a Bayer Leverkusen match, and you have a couple of hours spare time, then make sure to go to the neighbouring city of Cologne. This city has so much more to offer than the Leverkusen city centre. Combining a match in the BayArena and a visit to the Cologne city centre is a very good combination, but keep in mind that there are a bigger clubs which can be visited in the Ruhr-area. Suggestions would be to visit Dortmund (known for the 'Gelbe Wand') or Cologne, which is easily reached. Each of these clubs has a bigger stadium and are located in a better city to visit!

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Crowd Reviews

A Full Checkup of the BayArena

Total Score: 3.71

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 3

The BayArena is a football stadium in Leverkusen, Germany. Since the 2 August 1958, it’s been the home of Bundesliga club Bayer’04 Leverkusen. The original name of the stadium was "Ulrich-Haberland-Stadion" (named after a former president of Bayer AG, the chemical company and founder of the club). The capacity was originally 20,000 seats. In 1986, the stadium was renovated and converted into a modern sports facility. The renovation process went on very slowly, as a small part of the stadium was debated (a terrace behind one of the goals). Due to this discussion, the renovation took more than a decade to complete. At that time the capacity was 22,500.

In 1998, the stadium was renamed BayArena. In 1999, a hotel was built partly inside the complex. Some rooms and the restaurant of the hotel are overlooking the field. At last, the initial renovation was completed.

The municipality of Leverkusen offered himself as host city for the World Cup 2006. At this stage, the stadium was too small, but there were plans to expanded the BayArena to 40,000 seats. However, this proved to be impractical, as it would mean that on normal match days, the stadium would be half full, so the municipality withdrew. Instead, it was agreed that the German national team would use the BayArena as a training facility during the World Cup. Contrary to that agreement, though, Jürgen Klinsmann former coach of "Die Mannschaft" (Germany’s national football team) preferred Berlin over Leverkusen. As compensation, the BayArena was rewarded to host two international matches of Die Mannschaft.

In 2009, the stadium expanded with a second tier and a brand new roof, as well as the old green seats being replaced by red seats. The capacity of the BayArena now stands at 30,210.

What a game!!!!!

Total Score: 4.14

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 2
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 4

Best game i have seen live ... a 5-3 win vs Hamburg.

Leverkusen is nothing to shout about as a place to visit ...we stayed in Cologne which is a great city and a cheap train away. Although there is a great little bar opposite the stadium which i and my friend had a great time with local fans in

the stadium has good food and beer and a great atmosphere ....like every German team to be fair

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