UEFA***** Constructed: 1969-1972
Architects: Günther Behnisch & Frei Otto
Capacity: 69.267 (63.666 during Internationals)
Opened: 26/05/1972 West-Germany – USSR 4-1
– Final WC 1974: Netherlands – West-Germany 1-2
– Final EC 1 1979: Nottingham Forest – Malmö FF 1-0
– Final European Championship 1988: Netherlands – USSR 2-0
– Final CL 1993: Olympique Marseille – AC Milan 1-0
– Final UEFA Cup 1996 (First Leg): FC Bayern München – Girondins Bordeaux 2-0
– Final CL 1997: BVB Dortmund – Juventus 3-1
– 1972 Olympics
– WC-final Speedway IAAF Grand Prix 1989
– EC Athletics 2002
– Mass pope John-Paul II in 1987
– 5x Rolling Stones
– 4x Michael Jackson
– 2x Pink Floyd
A“youthfulold-timer” is perhaps the best description of theOlympiastadionin Munich.The stadium which is knownworldwide forthefuturistic lookingroof was born more than 40 years agoon the drawing board ofGüntherBehnisch.Inspiration forthe world-famousroof thearchitect found at the world exhibition inMontrealwhere anotherarchitect,FreiOtto,had designeda similarroof forthe German Pavilion.Ahanging rooffromacrylicglass wasa revolutionary conceptand because designing a football stadiumis a wholedifferent kettle of fishthandesigning atemporary pavilion, both architectsjoin forces.
With a covered area of 34,550 m² by 4,000 acrylic glass panes the roof protects 39,000 places or about three quarters of the stadium. The roof even spreads out over a total area of over 75,000 m², however, and covers also other parts of the Olympic complex. The stadium is embedded in the Olympic Park where, in addition to many green areas, a pond and an artificial hill of accumulated war debris, also the 11,000 seat “Olympiahalle” and the “Schwimmhalle” with a reduced capacity of 2,000 places (9,000 ever) are located.
While in architecturalcirclesthe stadiumisfamous because oftheunique roofmostfootball fanswill remember it for themasterfulgoal scored byMarco van Bastenagainst the Soviet Unionin 1988.However,theworldwideOlympicsitein also the collectivememoryas the scene ofaluridspectacle: on september 5, duringthe 1972 Summer Olympics, terroristsof the Organization “Black September” started a hostage situation which resulted in 9Israeli athletes,fiveterroristsand onepolice officerkilled. During an emotional speech IOCpresidentAvery Brundagewould utter the historic words:“Thegamesmust go on“.
For years the fixedoccupant ofthe stadiumwasFC Bayern München.Bayerntookup residencefor itsfinal and decisivematch of theseason 1971-72against Schalke 04.Aftera rousing5-1 victoryBayernwas crowned champion.In the 32 subsequent seasonsBayern would add 15 more titles to the trophy case.TheAttendance recordat the Olympiastadium isstrangelynot held bythe mundanered and whiteclubbutby1860. On August 15 1973 83,000 officially registered spectators were at the stadium for the derby against FC Augsburg in the Regionalliga Süd (then the 2nd Bundesliga) . According to unofficial sources, the true number is even higher, with some sources even mentioning 100,000 spectators!
Notwithstanding thefuturistic lookand the 5 UEFA starsthe stadiumin recent years did no longer met theneeds of anEuropean power such as FCBayern.It isalmost unthinkable todaybut due to theprotected statusof the stadiumthe Bavariantop club, up to itslast home game in 2005, had nologesorbusiness seats.The only luxuryprovided forthe350folding chairscountinggrandstandconsisted ofblanketsto keep the guests of honourwarm.Besides thistheathletics trackand the noncovered grandstandwere since long a thorn in the side of the Bayern directors.Theylongedfor amove to anewarena.Ahumiliating1-5defeat bythe Germannational teamagainst England in september 2001helpedFranz Beckenbauerandhis teamget the majority ofthe Munichpopulationbehind him in a referendum.The result can be admired just a couple of kilometers away.
Afterthe moveof FC BayernandTSV1860Munich tothe new Allianz-Arena in2005the Olympia park is barely used for professional team sports at all.During my visit in May 2007the stadium was hosting the “sports day“of an insurance company. In a stadium with 5 UEFA stars …
“Ein Denkmal für die Zukunft”. NEY Matthias, in Stadionwelt N° 6 12/2004
“Gewagt gewonnen”. NEY Matthias, in Stadionwelt N° 6 12/2004
“Weltarchitektur und des “Kaisers Terrorist” “. in “Das Grosse Buch der deutschen Fussball-Stadien. SKRETNY Werner.