The Red Bull Arena, formerly Zentralstadion, located in Leipzig, Saxony, Germany, is the premier football facility in the former East Germany. It is the largest football stadium in the former East Germany and has also hosted music concerts as well as football. Various Leipzig football teams have used the stadium as a home stadium, including VfB Leipzig (pre-cursor to 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig) at various points in the 20th century (including large-scale European matches in the 1970s and domestic football in the 1990s. FC Sachsen Leipzig used the stadium as a home ground from time to time between 2004 and 2007, however they moved back to their traditional home, the Alfred-Kunze-Sportpark at the start of the 2008–09 season.
In July 2009, energy drink manufacturer Red Bull took over the license of SSV Markranstädt and renamed the team RasenBallsport Leipzig, in short RB Leipzig. From the outset, the new team outlined their wish to move into the tenant-less Zentralstadion and rename it the "Red Bull Arena". The naming rights were granted on 25 March 2010 and the stadium will be named so for a minimum period of 10 years as of 1 July 2010. The cost for renting the stadium will rise in accordance with the level of football RasenBallsport Leipzig are at. The team has pledged to upgrade the seating, install video advertising boards and make changes to the boxes and the VIP area.
For the 2010–11 season, Hallescher FC will play between three and five games at the Zentralstadion due the their own Kurt-Wabbel Stadion being renovated. The games played at the Zentralstadion will be those likely to pose the biggest security risk, as Hallescher FC will be temporarily moving to the 4,500 capacity Neustädter Stadion during the construction work. These "high-security" games will be the matches against 1.FC Magdeburg, Chemnitzer FC, its home game against RB Leipzig and a possible match against a team relegated from the 3. Liga. This move was necessary to secure a license from the German Football Association for next season.History
In 1956, the first Zentralstadion opened, at the time it was the biggest stadium in Europe being able to hold 100,000 spectators. However, over the years it fell in to disuse and was costing the city too much to maintain. In 1997, the city of Leipzig decided to build a new stadium within the old stadium, a modern state of the art stadium only for football. The new stadium was built from December 2000 till March 2004.
The Zentralstadion was the only stadium in the former East Germany to host games in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. It hosted four group matches and a round of 16 game in the tournament. A year earlier, it was also one of the venues for the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup and hosted three matches of the tournament, including the third-place match. Since 2005, the Zentralstadion is also regular host of the German League Cup final.Facilities
There are bridges built over the old stadium to connect with the new stadium. The roof has an integrated floodlight design and is designed to provide superior acoustics. The grass area is 120 x 80 m, the actual playing field is 105 x 68 m. It has been integrated into the area surrounding the stadium by large amounts of trees and other greenery.External dimensions
- North to South: 230 m
- East to West: 210 m
- Height to Roof: 46.5 m
- Roof Area: 28,100 m²
- Map Coordinates: 51° 20' 44" N; 12° 20' 54" E
The stadium was one of the venues for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the only one located in the territory of the former East Germany.
The following games were played at the stadium during the 2006 World Cup: