Allianz Stadion in Vienna to be the new home for Rapid Wien
Austria’s most popular soccer club Rapid Wien will soon get a new home. The club has announced its plan to demolish the Gerhard-Hanappo-Stadion in order to build a brand new stadium as its home ground.
The Gerhard Hanappi Stadium was opened on May 10, 1977. The stadium bears the name of its architect Gerhard Hanappi, who also played for Rapid from 1960 to 1975. Prior to 1980, when it was renamed in his honour, it was known as the Weststadion (Western Stadium), due to its position in the city.
The new stadium has been named Allianz Stadion. Demolition of the old stadium is expected to begin this summer, while building its successor should take two years. Because the pitch will be rotated 90 degrees north, the modern building will also consume one training field north of the old stadium, decreasing Rapid’s training centre to three fields.
The enclosed bowl with vivid green cladding will be very simple and unified across the stadium, but with the exception of western grandstand. A tubular pavilion will be located there, becoming the most distinctive part of the design. Its southern façade will create a large, transparent crest of the club.
One more interesting element is the single floodlight mast located in south-eastern corner of the new stadium. This will be a left of old Hanappi as a tribute to the previous stadium. It won’t serve as matchday lighting, though. All actual floodlights will be located atop the roof to minimize light pollution to nearby residents.
Single-tiered stands will allow 24,000 people in the stadium’s European configuration, with seats only. However, early renderings clearly show the south end will be dedicated to most vibrant supporters and may function as a terrace. The new arena will have a very high percentage of premium seating. The main grandstand will have 2,500 business seats and a large number of 40 skyboxes, also joined by two large suites for banqueting.
Allianz Stadion is expected to open in 2016. Rapid Wien will spend $72 million on construction, 40 per cent of its budget will come from a Vienna city hall grant, while the remainder will be covered by Rapid privately.
Significant naming rights contract will ease the club’s financial burden. As of July 2014 until mid-2025 the stadium will be called Allianz Stadion.
“The Allianz Group in Austria has just signed a contract for long-term naming rights of the new football stadium ‘Allianz Stadion’ in Vienna. The new home stadium of the SK Rapid Wien football club should be built by 2016. In a first step, the contract will run for ten years. As an international group and sustainable financial services provider, Allianz is pleased that ecological aspects, such as unique LED floodlights, will play a major role in the stadium,” said the group in a press release.
In addition to the Allianz Stadion in Vienna, Allianz is the namesake for the world famous ‘Allianz Arena’ in Munich, the ‘Allianz Riviera’ in Nice, the ‘Allianz Stadium’ in Sydney, the ‘Allianz Park’ in London and the ‘Allianz Parque’ in Sao Paulo. The Brazilian stadium is currently under construction.
“We are thrilled to now have the unique opportunity to associate SK Rapid’s new stadium with our brand, creating the Allianz Stadion. This partnership is our contribution to support one of the most traditional football clubs in Austria, and that makes us proud,” the release quotes Christoph Marek, Sales Executive of the Allianz Group in Austria as saying.
“The ‘Allianz Stadion’ will be the most modern stadium in Austria with a clever visitor concept and impressive architecture – as well as improvements for the neighbours,” says Rapid Wien General Manager Werner Kuhn.
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