Named after a sponsorship agreement, the venue is stylised as the RheinEnergieSTADION, although is known simply as Stadion Koln for international or European matches.
History of the Stadium
This stadium has its roots in war, or at least in the roots of the effects of war. Due to the Treaty of Versailles, Colognes fortifications were removed and the space they left was able to be built upon.
A stadium was constructed for local sports teams, the Mungersdorfer Stadion, creating many jobs and allowing Cologne to rebuild its economy.
After breaking ground in 1921, builders finished the stadium in 1923 and it opened to great acclaim. An imposing stadium initially, it made news in Germany when 75,000 people attended a match there between Nurnberg and Kaiserslautern.
Many upgrades followed over the years and the stadium was ultimately chosen to be part of Germany’s successful FIFA World Cup bid in 2006.
These days the capacity is closer to 50,000 people, but when this ground is full it is a sight to behold and creates one of the best atmospheres in Germany.
One of the older football stadiums in Germany, despite its look, the RheinEnergieStadion is made up of the following things:
- Capacity: 49,698 for domestic matches, reduced to 45,965 for any international games (no standing allowed)
- Record Attendance: 76,000
- Pitch: The standard 105 metres by 68 metres, pure grass
- Stands: As is customary in Germany, the main stands are simply named Nord, Sud, Ost and West. An older style stadium, it is square in nature rather than bowl-like.
Memorable Games at the RheinEnergieStadion
There have been dozens of classic matches here over the years. These five games are among the best played here, they all featuring long-time tenants FC Koln.
FC Koln 6-2 1860 Munich
While on the way to winning their second Bundesliga title in the 1977-78 season, FC Koln hammered relegation-threatened 1860 Munich. The final score was 6-2. In a hugely entertaining contest, Koln kept the game open which was to their advantage and the clever performance went a long way towards securing the championship. 1860 eventually went down.
FC Koln 5-0 FC Schalke 04
On their excellent and famous cup run during the 1982-83 season, FC Koln reached a quarter-final they weren’t especially well fancied for. Playing Schalke, they demolished the Gelsenkirchen side 5-0 to reach the semi-finals of the DFB-Pokal. The performance was excellent from top to bottom, the team also going on to land an entertaining semi-final 3-2 against Stuttgart.
FC Koln 1-0 Fortuna Koln
Upon reaching the final of the 1983 DFB-Pokal, the home side here was in an all-Koln affair against Fortuna. The match was played at their home ground. A tense affair, the atmosphere during this game was palpable. However, in a strong performance, FC Koln landed the prize after a 1-0 win to bring home some more silverware.
FC Koln 4-0 FC St Pauli
In a promotion year for the home side, during the 2013-14 campaign, FC Koln took on the unique St Pauli. With some expecting a performance from the away side, Koln simply swept them aside in a commanding display. The defeat sentenced the away team to mid-table mediocrity and led to a promotion party for the home supporters.
This was the last home game of the title-winning season in front of 50,000 people. Even a late missed penalty wasn’t enough to dampen the atmosphere.
FC Koln 8-1 Dynamo Dresden
During what was ultimately a successful promotion season for FC Koln in the 2018-19 season in 2. Bundesliga, they demolished the once-great Dynamo Dresden 8-1 at the RheinEnergieStadion. In a memorable game, a hat-trick from Simon Terodde was backed up by goals from Jhon Cordoba (2), Jonas Hector (2) and Louis Schaub.
What made this performance and result even more extraordinary is that Dynamo Dresden were no mugs. Indeed, in the return game later in the season, FC Koln suffered a 3-0 reverse although they did go on to win the second-tier title.
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