The famous home of VfB Stuttgart of the Bundesliga in Germany, the Mercedes-Benz Arena stands around three miles from the centre of Stuttgart.
The current naming rights have been in place since 2008, though this venue has had several titles over the years. It was known as the Neckarstadion from its construction to 1993, and then the Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion between 1993 and 2008.
Many classic matches have been played at the Mercedes-Benz Arena through the years. In fact, VfB Stuttgart won all five of their Bundesliga titles, three DFB-Pokals and three Intertoto Cups here.
History & Stats
A famous old football venue under the surface, the modern Mercedes-Benz arena is now compiled from these elements.
- Built: 1897 (original construction)
- Opened: July 23, 1933
- Renovated: 1949-1951, 1999-2003, 2004-2005, 2009-2011
- Capacity: 60,441 for domestic games with safe standing, reducing to 54,906 for UEFA-sanctioned and international matches
- Record Attendance: 103,000
- Pitch: A natural grass surface, measuring the standard 105 metres by 68 metres
- Stands: The Arena is essentially all joined now, but is ostensibly made up of the EnBw Tribune and the Haupttribine either side of the pitch. As well as the Unterturkheimer Kurve and the Cannstatter Kurve behind each goal. The Haupttribune accommodates media, football personnel and corporate boxes. While the Cannstatter Kurve and the EnBw Tribune are linked by the Gastebereich in the corner.
Memorable Games at the Mercedes-Benz Arena
Soviet Union 2-0 Italy
With hosts West Germany playing over in Hamburg, the Neckarstadion was to host the other semi-final of the UEFA Euro 1988 competition between the Soviet Union and Italy.
A typically tense semi-final was played out in a big atmosphere with 61,000 in attendance, the Soviets eventually taking the lead in the 58th minute through Hennadiy Lytovchenko before Oleh Protasov added a second just four minutes later.
Soviet Union went on to lose the final to a very talented Dutch side in Munich.
England 1-0 Ecuador
Stuttgart hosted several games during the 2006 World Cup in Germany, including England’s knockout encounter against Ecuador.
It was a close game played in the typical atmosphere. Many, many England fans sung and chanted throughout. David Beckham’s famous strike proved to be the only goal of the game. England went on to lose controversially to Portugal in the quarter-finals in Gelsenkirchen.
Germany 3-1 Portugal
Having lost to two of the latest goals you’ll witness in extra-time in the semi-finals against Italy, 2006 World Cup hosts Germany were consigned to the third-place play-off game in Stuttgart.
Playing a talented Portuguese side, the Germans let loose more than in their previous match and played some wonderfully attacking football in front of an adoring home crowd.
Bastian Schweinsteiger netted twice in the second half and some gloss was added when Petit scored an own goal, a late strike from Portugal by Nuno Gomes doing nothing to halt the party atmosphere.
VfB Stuttgart 3-0 Schalke 04
During the 2006-07 Bundesliga season, it had become apparent that Stuttgart was challenging Schalke for the title.
The two teams played at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in October 2006, the home team completely taking over with a powerful display of football in a crucial match in front of 63,000 people.
Goals from Sami Khedira (2), subsequently of Real Madrid, and Serdar Tasci ensure the crucial three points stayed here, the team going on to beat Schalke to the Bundesliga crown by just two points.
VfB Stuttgart 4-1 Wurzburger Kickers
Having slipped to the 2.Bundesliga, Stuttgart needed promotion to once again realise their lofty European ambitions.
The second-tier title looked very close between themselves and Hannover 96 going into the final day of the season. However, Stuttgart took on Wurzburger Kickers. They had to hold their nerve to be crowned winners of the league. They duly did that with a taking display of football. Matthias Zimmerman gave them the lead in the first half.
They went into a new gear in the second half. Simon Terodde made it 2-0 to seemingly land the title, though a goal back from the visitors on 78 minutes made things a little nervy.
No worries though, as two minutes later Terodde scored again and some shine was put on the scoreline with a minute to go when Daniel Ginczek netted a fourth on the day.
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