Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Arena AufSchalke is a stadium in Gelsenkirchen, Germany which opened in 2001 as the new home for the Bundesliga football club FC Schalke 04. For Bundesliga matches, it has a capacity of 61,266, with about 45,000 seated. For international matches, its all-seated capacity is 53,473. The stadium, which hosted the Champions League final in 2004, is a venue for the 2006 World Cup. It is also the temporary home of the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe while its normal home, the Rheinstadion in Düsseldorf, is being renovated.
This is one of the most innovative stadiums built in recent years. It has a retractable roof, and features a grass pitch that slides in and out of the stadium as needed. The sliding pitch solves the problem of keeping grass alive within a domed stadium, and also allows the stadium to be used for non-sporting events such as concerts without damaging the pitch. It also well known for its 5 km long beer pipeline.
The concept of a slide-out pitch under a moveable roof has been successfully used before in the stadium Gelredome in Arnhem (The Netherlands, home stadium for Vitesse Arnhem), in 1998. Later a slide-pitch was used in the Sapporo Dome in Japan, built for the 2002 World Cup and currently used for baseball and football; however, the Sapporo Dome has a fixed roof.
The new stadium now under construction in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale for the NFL's Arizona Cardinals is based more closely on Arena AufSchalke, as it features both a retractable roof and a slide-out pitch.
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