- Address: Arena-Straße 1, Düsseldorf
- Country: Germany
- Capacity: 54,000
- Opened: 10 September 2004
- Main use: American football, football
- Tenants: Fortuna (football), Rhein Fire (American football)
Extra stadium info – MERKUR SPIEL-ARENA
The construction of the MERKUR SPIEL-ARENA started in 2002 and its construction costs were €240 million. It opened as one of the largest sports venues by capacity in North Rhine-Westphalia. The stadium, which has a retractable roof, was known as the LTU arena between 2004 and 2009. Between 2009 and 2018, it was named ESPRIT arena. Various world famous artists performed at the venue. The national football team of Germany played its first match at the stadium in 2005. The game against the Argentine Republic ended in a 2-2 draw. The national football team of Germany won several world championship titles.
Bayer Leverkusen and other German football clubs
Bayer Leverkusen played various home games at the MERKUR SPIEL-ARENA. In 1988, they won the UEFA Cup. In 2002, Bayer Leverkusen became the sixth German football club in a European championship final. Eintracht Frankfurt became the first one in 1960, followed by Bayern München in 1974, Borussia Mönchengladbach in 1977, HSV in 1980 and Borussia Dortmund in 1997.
Düsseldorfer Turn- und Sportverein Fortuna 1895 and the Rhein Fire use the stadium for home games. The Rhein Fire became one of the most popular American football clubs from Europe. Fortuna was founded in 1895. The football club became one of the first sports clubs from North Rhine-Westphalia with 100,000 followers on its main social media page. They were crowned German football champions in 1933 for the first time in their history after beating FC Schalke 04 in front of a crowd of 60,000. In 1979, Fortuna won the German cup tournament for the first time in their history. They won the trophy after defeating Hertha BSC in the final. The former football player Wolfgang Seel scored the only goal of the match.