For the EURO 2024 in Germany, the stadiums of the ten venues have been renamed by UEFA – and some have been given strange names.
There are still almost 15 months until the kick-off of the European Football Championship in Germany. The countdown has already begun on the UEFA website: the ten venues and stadiums are presented there in pretty short portraits, garnished with bits of tourist information for football fans from all over Europe. In Cologne, for example, one learns that the cathedral and a walk across the Hohenzollern Bridge are absolute musts.
The people in Cologne will also agree – but some will probably be surprised that the home ground of FC suddenly has a different name: the stadium in Müngersdorf otherwise bears the name of a local energy supplier. Because the names of sponsors who are not associated with UEFA are taboo during the EURO, the official name of the EM venue is simply “Cologne Stadium“.
“Cologne Stadium”, “Dusseldorf Arena”
The stadium in neighboring Düsseldorf also had to give up its name sponsor during the European Championship and was given the title “Düsseldorf Arena” by UEFA. Why one venue is named “Arena” and the other “Stadion” remains the secret of the organizers. The trade magazine “kicker” claims to have found out that “Cologne Arena” might have led to confusion with the Kölnarena in the Deutz district.
But the UEFA designations for the stadiums are also wildly confused at the other eight venues: In Frankfurt, Munich and Stuttgart, European Championship games are officially held in the “Arena”, while Leipzig operates under the “Leipzig Stadium”.
According to “kicker”, the naming process dragged on for over a year and was complicated. UEFA is said to have suggested using the traditional stadium designations from the era before the naming sponsors, but some clubs have spoken out against this. The result is a colorful mix of fantasy and well-known names, some of which seem arbitrary.
It also seems strange that the UEFA stadium names are happily switched between German and English: Munich, like Cologne, appears under its international name and welcomes the fans to the opening game in the “Munich Football Stadium”.
Hamburg, on the other hand, may keep the name “Volksparkstadion”, as does Berlin, where the final will also be officially played in the “Olympiastadion”.
“Arena AufSchalke” instead of Gelsenkirchen
During the European Championship, Dortmund is known as “BVB Stadion Dortmund” – it sounds as if the organizers wanted to adopt the prominent club name. It sounds similar with the big local rivals, the EM games are officially held in the “Arena AufSchalke”. However, it was probably initially considered that the city of Gelsenkirchen should also appear in the name of the EM stadium, at the request of local politicians, as reported in media reports. Accordingly, Gelsenkirchen’s city leaders first had to be convinced that the “Schalke” brand probably has the greater appeal.