Merkur Spiel-Arena

(Redirected from Esprit Arena)

Merkur Spiel-Arena (stylized in all caps), previously known as the Esprit Arena (until 2 August 2018), the LTU Arena (until June 2009), and is called the Düsseldorf Arena (during the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest and the UEFA Euro 2024), is a retractable roof football stadium in Düsseldorf, Germany. The arena currently hosts association football team Fortuna Düsseldorf.

Merkur Spiel-Arena
Exterior view of Merkur Spiel-Arena
Former namesLTU Arena (2004–2009)
Esprit Arena (2009–2018)
LocationDüsseldorf, Germany
Coordinates51°15′42″N 6°43′59″E / 51.26167°N 6.73306°E / 51.26167; 6.73306
OwnerCity of Düsseldorf
Executive suites27[citation needed]
8 (event suites)[citation needed]
Capacity54,600 (9,917 standing)
66,500 (concerts)[2]
Field size100 m × 70 m (330 ft × 230 ft)[citation needed]
Built2002–2004[citation needed]
Opened10 September 2004 (2004-09-10)
Construction cost240 million[citation needed]
ArchitectJSK Architekten[1]
Fortuna Düsseldorf (2004–present)
Rhein Fire (2005–2007)
Bayer Leverkusen (2008–2009)
KFC Uerdingen (2019–2020)
Germany national football team (selected matches)


Aerial view of Messe Düsseldorf in District 5, including the Arena on the far left

Construction of the stadium began in 2002 and was completed in 2004.[citation needed] It was built to replace the former Rheinstadion at the same site near the river Rhine.

The structure's initial seating capacity of 51,500 was expanded in summer 2010 when some seating areas were converted into standing terraces, and it currently[when?] holds 54,600.[3]

The stadium has a retractable roof, as well as a heating system making it possible to comfortably host events throughout the year.

Sports events


International football matches


While the stadium was not one of the venues for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, it has hosted several international matches since it opened.

The first international match at the stadium was an international friendly between Germany and Argentina on 9 February 2005, ending in a 2–2 draw. On 7 February 2007, Germany played their second international friendly in the Arena, beating Switzerland 3–1. On 11 February 2009, Germany suffered[tone] a 1–0 defeat to Norway.

Portugal also played two international friendlies at the stadium. On 1 March 2006, Portugal recorded a 3–0 win over Saudi Arabia.[citation needed] On 26 March 2008, Portugal played their second international friendly at the stadium, suffering[citation needed] a 2–1 defeat to Greece.

In September 2022, the venue hosted a friendly between USA and Japan.

UEFA Euro 2024


The stadium will be one of the venues for the UEFA Euro 2024. However, due to sponsorship contracts, the arena will be called "Düsseldorf Arena" during the tournament.

The following matches will be played at the stadium:

Date Time (CEST) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Spectators
17 June 2024
  France 46,425
21 June 2024
24 June 2024
1 July 2024
Runner-up Group D
Runner-up Group E
6 July 2024
Winner Match 40
Winner Match 38

Other sports events


The stadium was the former home of the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe, an American football league.[citation needed] They were tenants for their final three seasons from 2005 to 2007.[citation needed] The stadium hosted World Bowl XIII and XIV. Esprit Arena hosted the Race of Champions 2010, with notable drivers such as Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel, Alain Prost and Sébastien Loeb.

The Esprit Arena was the host venue for boxing world heavyweight championship bouts: between Wladimir Klitschko and Eddie Chambers on 20 March 2010 (Klitschko won the bout by KO in the 12th round), Wladimir Klitschko against Jean-Marc Mormeck on 3 March 2012 (Klitschko won by KO in the 4th round), Wladimir Klitschko against Tyson Fury on 28 November 2015 (see Wladimir Klitschko vs. Tyson Fury (Fury won by a unanimous points decision).

In 2021, the stadium hosted the Championship Game auf the inaugural season of the European League of Football.

On January 10 2024, the arena set a world record for hosting the biggest audience of a handball game with 53,586 spectators watching the game between Germany vs. Switzerland at the European Men's Handball Championship.[4]

The arena will host the opening ceremony of the 2025 Summer World University Games, and is also scheduled to host the artistic gymnastics events.

Music events


German Singer Herbert Grönemeyer opened the arena with two concerts on 7 and 8 January 2005 as conclusion of his Mensch-Tour.[citation needed] On 8 June 2011, he returned with his Schiffsverkehr Tour.

The German rock band Die Toten Hosen, which is based in Düsseldorf, gave a total of seven concerts in the arena.[citation needed] The first one on 10 September 2005 as last concert of their Friss Oder Stirb Tour.[citation needed] They returned to the homeground of their favourite football team[relevant?] for two more concerts on 11 and 12 October 2013 as final of their Krach der Republik Tour.[citation needed] The next two concerts were on 12 and 13 October 2018 as part of their Laune der Natour.[citation needed] The two most recent concerts were on 24 and 25 June 2022 as part of their 40 years Anniversary Tour.

Phil Collins played the arena four times: First as a solo artist during his First Final Farewell Tour on 12 and 13 November 2005 and then again with his band Genesis during their Turn It On Again Tour on 26 and 27 June 2007 in a sold-out crowd of 88,397 fans in attendance.

Another German singer Marius Müller-Westernhagen played a concert at the arena on 2 December 2005.

British Rock band The Rolling Stones played the arena three times: First on 12 August 2007 during the Bigger Bang Tour, then again on 19 June 2014 as part of the 14 On Fire Tour and on 9 October 2017 during the No Filter Tour.

Bon Jovi performed at the stadium on 13 May 2006 during their Have A Nice Day Tour, in front of a sold-out crowd of 47,862 people.[citation needed] The band performed at the stadium for the second time on 13 July 2011 during their Live 2011, in front of a sold-out crowd of 43,625 people.

On 16 June 2008, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the arena as part of the Magic Tour for more than 33,000 people.[citation needed] They returned on 21 June 2023 for a concert as part of the 2023 Tour.

Coldplay played the arena on 27 August 2009 as part of their Viva La Vida Tour.

Esprit Arena with Eurovision Song Contest 2011 wrapping

On New Year's Eve 2008, the dance music event Sensation was held with an attendance of over 15,000.

Depeche Mode performed at the stadium six times: the first and the second were on 20 and 21 January 2006 during their Touring the Angel.[citation needed] The third and the fourth were on 26 and 27 February 2010 during their Tour of the Universe, in front of a total crowd of 90,693 people.[citation needed] The fifth and the sixth were on 3 and 5 July 2013 during their Delta Machine Tour, in front of a total sold-out crowd of 87,308 people.[citation needed] The 2010 shows were recorded for the group's live albums project Recording the Universe.[citation needed] They also played two shows on June 4 and 6, 2023 as part of the Memento Mori tour.

The arena has played host to music festivals, including Projekt Revolution.

Esprit Arena hosted the 56th Eurovision Song Contest in 2011.

Madonna played two concerts in 2006 and 2008 during her Confessions Tour and Sticky & Sweet Tour, respectively, at the venue.

The Black Eyed Peas brought their The Beginning Tour to the arena on 28 June 2011.

On 25 July 2011, British pop band Take That performed in the arena with opening act Pet Shop Boys.

On 18 June 2011 and 6 September 2013, Roger Waters performed The Wall live at the arena.

On 7 June 2014, German Singer Udo Lindenberg performed a concert.

One Direction (with opening act by 5 Seconds of Summer) performed on 2 July 2014 a sold-out concert for a crowd of 44,684 people as part of their Where We Are Tour.

On 5 September 2015, the festival Rock im Sektor took place at the arena with concerts by Linkin Park, Broiler, Kraftklub and others.

Paul McCartney performed on 28 May 2016 during his worldwide One On One tour.

On 15 June 2016, Australian rock band AC/DC performed the last European concert of their Rock Or Bust Tour at the arena.

On 12 July 2016, Beyoncé performed at the stadium as part of her The Formation World Tour.

On 18 and 19 June 2022, Rammstein performed two concerts as part of their Europe Stadium Tour 2022 to an audience of 45,000 per show.

On 17 July 2022, Lady Gaga kicked off The Chromatica Ball at the stadium to an audience of over 45,000.

On 27 and 28 June 2023, Harry Styles performed at the stadium as part of his Love On Tour.

On 4 July 2023, The Weeknd performed at the stadium as part of his After Hours til Dawn Tour.

On 20, 21 and 23 July 2024, Coldplay will perform at the stadium as part of their Music of the Spheres World Tour

Naming rights


The naming rights to the stadium are currently[when?] held by gambling company Gauselmann.[5]

From July 2009 to August 2018, the clothing manufacturer Esprit held the naming rights.[6] Prior to July 2009, the German airline LTU held the naming rights.

Düsseldorf's mayor Dirk Elbers stated that, due to treaty obligations, the arena would lose its sponsor name and be renamed Düsseldorf Arena for the period of the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 which was held there in May 2011.[7]

A panorama of Merkur Spielarena

Public transport

Merkur Spiel-Arena viewed from the Merkur Spiel-Arena/Messe Nord station
A train of the Düsseldorf Stadtbahn at Merkur Spiel-Arena/Messe Nord station

Merkur Spiel-Arena/Messe Nord is a terminus station of the Düsseldorf urban rail line 78, part of the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr (VRR).[citation needed]


  1. ^ Esprit Arena Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Archived 16 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Fortuna Düsseldorf 1895: ESPRIT arena" (in German). Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2010.
  4. ^ "World record in handball: 53,586 spectators for Germany vs. Switzerland!". 11 January 2024.
  5. ^ "Esprit-Arena heißt bald Merkur Spielarena: Fortuna Düsseldorf hofft auf Vorteile durch Stadion-Deal" (in German). Rheinische Post. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  6. ^ "Neuer Namensgeber vorgestellt" (in German). 16 March 2009. Archived from the original on 7 February 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2009.
  7. ^ "Sieben Live-Shows beim Eurovision Song Contest" (in German). Der Westen. 25 October 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2010.

51°15′42″N 6°43′59″E / 51.26167°N 6.73306°E / 51.26167; 6.73306

Preceded by Eurovision Song Contest

Succeeded by