A tour of Signal Iduna Park, home of German champions Borussia Dortmund

Opened April 2, 1974, the Westfalenstadion is the magnificent home of Borussia Dortmund and is Germany’s biggest stadium.

Also named Signal Iduna Park, as part of a sponsorship agreement through 2021, it is commonly referred to as Westfalenstadion by those familiar with European football.

The concept of the Westfalenstadion dates back to Dortmund’s 1966 Cup Winners Cup title. At the time, the Stadion Rote Erde, where Borussia Dortmund’s U-23 team now plays, served as the club’s home. But after the title, the club’s popularity grew and the Stadion Rote Erde’s 25,000 capacity was no longer sufficient.

Funding the stadium was difficult but  money was allocated to Dortmund for the 1974 World Cup. The new Westfalenstadion hosted games at the World Cup that year and Borussia Dortmund had a new home.

Westfalenstadion is the home to two-time defending Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund and young striker Robert Lewandowski (right). Mike Hewitt / Getty Images.

Capacity when the stadium opened was 54,000, but it was expanded in the 1990s with the club’s success, highlighted by a Champions League victory in 1997. It now fits over 80,000 people for German league matches with seating and standing room. For international matches, its capacity is around 64,000.

The layout of the stadium consists of four giant grandstands - one for each side of the field. Despite being the sixth-largest soccer stadium in Europe, the Westfalenstadion’s seats are covered and still close to the field to preserve a feeling of intimacy.

[slideshow auto="on" thumbs="on"]

With the roof covering the stands, the Westfalenstadion can also be one of Europe’s loudest stadiums. During an important game for Dortumund, the place can feel electric.

One of the most memorable games at the stadium was in the group stages of the 2006 World Cup when Germany hosted Poland. In that game, Germany dominated Poland but struggled to score. A scoreless draw looked probably until Oliver Neuville found the back of the net in second half stoppage time to give the hosts a memorable win in front of an emotional German crowd.

Signal Iduna Park during the 2006 World Cup match between Germany and Poland. Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images.

In addition to hosting two World Cups, the Westfalenstadion also hosted the 2001 UEFA Cup Final, in which Liverpool defeated Alaves.

Signal Iduna Park is a visually impressive structure, with eight huge towers and suspension cables supporting the roof over the stadium. These towers can be seen from most of the city and are one of Dortmund’s most recognizable sights.

Westfalenstadion is one of the best places to attend a game in Europe. Renovations have changed the structure dramatically but the charm and character have not been lost.

Hampden Park in Glasgow has a structure far different the stadium that once fit over 150,000 people and was one of the most impressive venues in the world. After its renovations, Hampden Park is known for its history. For Westfalenstadion, renovations made the stadium known for its present.

Limited resources for the 1974 World Cup meant many shortcuts were taken during the initial construction. But with each renovation, the Westfalenstadion has been transformed into one of the nicest in Europe that rivals brand new and very modern stadiums.

Posted in: Stadium Experiences

1 Comment on "A tour of Signal Iduna Park, home of German champions Borussia Dortmund"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. gotze………..is the best.

Post a Comment