BayArena to be modernized and expanded to accommodate over 30,000 spectators
Leverkusen – The BayArena, the stadium that is home to the Bundesliga soccer team Bayer 04 Leverkusen, is to be modernized, developed and its capacity increased to accommodate over 30,000 spectators. In a meeting yesterday, the Bayer AG Board of Management approved the plans put forward by its subsidiary Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH. The development work is scheduled to commence at the end of this year and to be completed before the start of the 2009/10 season. The costs will amount to around EUR 56 million.
“Our soccer team is an important means of image promotion for us, both at home and abroad”, explained Bayer chairman Werner Wenning. “By expanding the stadium we are creating a good basis for achieving a high advertising value in the future.”
In the new stadium, the seats for the spectators will be covered by a circular, marquee-style roof, which will extend over the stands at the far ends of the pitch and therefore also provide people in front of the stadium with protection from the rain. A special feature will be a huge Bayer cross over the arena consisting of 2000 transparent LEDs and with a diameter of 200 meters, which will make the world-famous company logo clearly visible from the air from a great distance.
The present stands will be raised, increasing the current capacity of 22,500 to more than 30,000 seats. The current total of 812 seats in the hospitality area, including restaurants and boxes, will be increased to over 2,000 seats. The number of workplaces for media representatives will also be practically doubled, to 228. The players will also benefit from the expansion: with an overall size of 2,600 square meters, the team and physio areas, with changing rooms, treatment and massage rooms, will be more than quadrupled.
“Having successfully completed the urgently required process of restructuring and thereby placing Fussball GmbH back on a sound financial basis, we are delighted to have Bayer’s approval for the development of our stadium. This will put us on the right track towards a promising future”, commented Bayer 04 CEO Wolfgang Holzhäuser. “The new BayArena will not only be a stadium with the latest infrastructure, but will also provide us with the opportunity to tap additional earnings potential.”
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