Liebenauer Stadium

  (Redirected from UPC-Arena)

The Liebenauer Stadium,[1] sponsored as the Merkur-Arena[2] (formerly known as the Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium and UPC-Arena) is in the Liebenau area of Graz, Styria, Austria. The ground is the home of the football clubs SK Sturm Graz and Grazer AK.

UPC-Arena Front New.jpg
Former namesArnold Schwarzenegger-Stadion (1995–2005)
Stadion Graz-Liebenau (2005–2006)
UPC-Arena (2006–2016)
LocationStadionplatz 1
A-8041 Graz-Liebenau
Coordinates47°02′46″N 15°27′16″E / 47.04611°N 15.45444°E / 47.04611; 15.45444
OwnerStadion Liebenau Betriebs GmbH
OperatorCity of Graz
Capacity16,364 (domestic games)
15,400 (international games)
Field size105 x 68 m
(114.8 x 74.4 yd)
SurfaceNatural grass with under-soil heating
Broke ground9 January 1995; 27 years ago (1995-01-09)
Opened9 July 1997; 24 years ago (1997-07-09)
Sturm Graz and Grazer AK
2011 IFAF World Championship
Panorama of the Arena


Originally, the stadium was named after bodybuilder, actor and former governor of the U.S. state of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was born near Graz. It was built from 1996 to early 1997 and is owned by Stadion Liebenau Betriebs GmbH. It opened with the game Grazer AK vs. SK Sturm Graz on 9 July 1997 (0:4).

In December 2005, when Schwarzenegger did not stop the execution of Stanley Tookie Williams, an intense discussion in his hometown began about what to do with the stadium that bore his name. After some days, Schwarzenegger revoked the city of Graz's right to the use of his name, ending the debate.[3] On the night of 26 December 2005 the name was removed from the stadium.[4] The remaining part Stadion Graz-Liebenau was removed on 17 February 2006 and on 18 February 2006 the stadium was renamed to UPC-Arena. In March 2016 the Austrian insurance company Merkur Versicherung secured the rights to bear a name and the stadium was renamed to Merkur-Arena.


The Merkur-Arena has an official capacity of 15,400 in 27 sectors. The away fans are normally in sector 8, which has a capacity of about 750. When more away fans are expected, sector 9 with about 750 seats is also given to the away team and sometimes even also sector 10. At Champions League games of the SK Sturm Graz, some additional platforms were built so that the stadium had a capacity of 16,000 spectators. Furthermore, the stadium has a wheelchair area. The first game in the "new" UPC-Arena was the 125th derby between SK Sturm Graz and Grazer AK (4:0). The field equipped with undersoil heating has a size of 105 x 68 metres.

The stadium hosted a World Cup qualifier between Austria and Faroe Islands on 5 September 2009 which ended in 3–1 victory for the home team. It also hosted an international friendly between England and Japan on 30 May 2010. England had been training in Irdning, a small village in the Austrian Alps, in preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The match ended 2–1 to England, courtesy of two own goals by Japan.

Average attendanceEdit

The average season attendances from league matches held at the Merkur-Arena for Grazer AK and SK Sturm Graz.[5][6]

Season Grazer AK SK Sturm Graz
1997–98 8,772 9,167
1998–99 7,040 10,972
1999–2000 6,584 11,123
2000–01 5,631 10,831
2001–02 7,294 10,057
2002–03 6,919 7,374
2003–04 9,007 7,836
2004–05 8,396 6,739
2005–06 7,372 8,330
2006–07 5,807 9,546
2007–08 2,792 12,015
2008–09 2,590 12,830
2009–10 1,800 11,726
2010–11 2,548 11,875
2011–12 3,618 10,827
2012–13 1,809 * 10,682

* Dissolved after 6 matches.


From 2006 to 2016 the stadium was sponsored by UPC Austria, and was known as the UPC-Arena

Merkur Versicherung won the sponsorship rights from 2016. The contract is set to last for 10 years until 2026.


  2. ^ "Merkur als neuer Namenssponsor für das Liebenauer Stadion". Kleine Zeitung. 23 October 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Schwarzenegger in Austrian spat". BBC News. 20 December 2005. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Hometown Snubs Schwarzenegger Over Death Penalty". The New York Times. 2005-12-27. Retrieved 2013-02-12.
  5. ^ "EFS Attendances". Retrieved 2011-03-14.
  6. ^ "Bundesliga 2010/2011". Retrieved 2011-03-14.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 47°02′46″N 15°27′16″E / 47.04611°N 15.45444°E / 47.04611; 15.45444