The Dusseldorf Arena, also known as the Merkur Spiel-Arena and previously the Esprit Arena and the LTU Arena, is one of the hallowed turfs to host a game this summer. Below, we explore everything you need to know about the stadium, its history and how to get there.

History of the Dusseldorf Arena

A relatively new stadium, the Dusseldorf Arena was built to replace an ageing Rheinstadion, which had stood at the same site on the River Rhine. In total, it cost €218 million to build the stadium.

It is the home of Fortuna Düsseldorf and hosted its first-ever game when they faced Union Berlin in a second-tier encounter in 2004. The hosts provided fans with the perfect opening present by winning 2-0 after goals from Gustav Policella and Mariano Pasini.

In 2006, it failed with a bid to host a game at the World Cup in Germany. However, this incredible structure, complete with a retractable roof and a state-of-the-art heating system, finally has its flowers on the international football scene in 2024.

That is not to say it hasn't had ample recognition in other ways. It hosted the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest, where a sell-out crowd watched the continent's best vocalists do battle. It was also the home of NFL Europe's Rhein Fire, hosting American Football games in 2006 and 2007 before the competition folded.

Its multi-purpose talents continue – it has hosted boxing and handball events. It even hosts concerts from the world's biggest bands and stars and can become a giant club for some of its biggest nights.

You can expect a stadium with all the bells and whistles you would expect from a modern-day structure fit for international competition.

What games will be played at the Dusseldorf Arena?

The Dusseldorf Arena has a broad selection of tantalising match-ups to take in – take your pick from the following:

  • Austria vs France (Group D, 17th June)
  • Slovakia vs Ukraine (Group E, 21st June)
  • Albania vs Spain (Group B, 24th June)
  • Runner-Up Group D vs Runner-Up Group E (Round of 16, 1st July)
  • Winner of Match 40 vs Winner of Match 38 (Quarter-finals, 6th July)

There are a couple of games that stand out:

Austria vs France: Pre-tournament favourites France take on an enigmatic Austria side in each side’s opening game of the competition. On paper, Les Bleus should win. They have one of the best forwards in the world in Kylian Mbappe and a supporting cast of Eduardo Camavinga, Aurélien Tchouaméni and Antoine Griezmann makes for terrifying reading for any opposing team. They conceded just three goals in eight European Championship qualifying matches and scored 28, although half of those goals came in a 14-0 obliteration of Gibraltar.

Austria, though, have some notable results to raise the eyebrows somewhat. A 2-0 win over Germany in a friendly in March came before a 6-1 thrashing of a Turkish team that was touted as one of the dark horses for the 2022 World Cup. The stewardship of manager Ralf Rangnick, the potent attacking talents of Michael Gregoritsch and Christoph Baumgartner, and the world-class experience of David Alaba and Marcel Sabitzer among others, means France would be wise to respect Das Team.

Albania vs Spain: The Kuq e Zinjtë are at their second-ever European Championship, having previously made it in 2016. Unfortunately for them, they have been drawn in the ‘Group of Death’ with opponents including three-time winners Spain, two-time winners Italy and 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia.

If they are to have any chance of getting into the knockout rounds, they must win this one. A lot of the pressure will be on Armando Broja – the Chelsea forward, currently on loan at Fulham, is one of the shining talents from Albania. Can he lead his side to an upset?

Location of the Dusseldorf Arena

The stadium is located at Arena-Straße 1, 40474 Düsseldorf, Germany. There are several ways to travel to the Düsseldorf Arena.

By Road

While organisers are advising visitors against travelling to the city by car over the duration of the tournament, it is still possible to access park and ride locations around the city. To get there, you can travel from every direction via the A3, A44, A46, A52, A57, A59 and A524.

By Public Transport

By train, Düsseldorf’s Hauptbahnhof station is where you need to get to – from there, you have access to the rest of the city.

For public transport around the city, check out the Rheinbarn, which operates a vast selection of networks and services. Fans should consider purchasing the DüsseldorfCard, which provides free travel on public transport and free admission and discounts to museums, city tours, boat tours, and more!

Capacity of the Dusseldorf Arena

The Dusseldorf Arena capacity comes in at around 54,600 – ample enough fans to get the atmosphere going. It lives up to the billing whether it’s football, Eurovision or boxing.


Take Time to Think | | 18+

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