The Allianz Arena is a football stadium in the north of Munich, Bavaria, Germany. The two professional Munich football clubs FC Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 München have played their home games at the Allianz Arena since the start of the 2005–06 season. Both clubs had previously played their home games at the Munich Olympic Stadium since 1972, where FC Bayern Munich played all of their games and TSV 1860 München most of their games. The Allianz Arena is the third biggest stadium in Germany behind Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund and the Olympiastadion in Berlin.
The large financial services provider Allianz purchased the rights to name the stadium for 30 years. However this name cannot be used when hosting FIFA and UEFA events, since these governing bodies have policies forbidding corporate sponsorship from companies that are not official tournament partners. During the 2006 World Cup, the stadium was referred to as FIFA World Cup Stadium Munich. In UEFA club matches, it is known as Fußball Arena München, and it hosted the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final.The stadium has been nicknamed "Schlauchboot" (inflatable boat).
The stadium is located at the northern edge of Munich's borough of Schwabing on the Fröttmaning Heath. It is the first stadium in the world that has a full changing color outside. Near the Allianz Arena, Fröttmaning U-Bahn station, on U6 can be seen.
Effective with the city's approval of modifications that was granted 16 January 2006, the legal capacity of the stadium increased from 66,000 to 69,901 spectators (including standing room). The lower tier can seat up to 20,000, the middle tier up to 24,000, and the upper tier up to 22,000. 10,400 of the seats in the lower tier corners can be converted to standing room to allow an additional 3,120 spectators. The total capacity includes 2,000 business seats, 400 seats for the press, 106 luxury boxes with seating for up to 174, and 165 berths for wheelchairs and the like. From the second half of the 2005–06 Bundesliga season, the arena is able to accommodate 69,901 spectators at league and German Cup games, but because of UEFA regulations, the capacity remained at 66,000 seats for UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup games. Bayern Munich limited capacity during their league and cup games to 69,000. The partial roof covers all seats, although winds can still blow rain onto some of them. Prior to the 2012–13 season, Bayern Munich announced that capacity had been increased to 71,000 for domestic matches and 68,000 for UEFA matches, with the addition of 2,000 seats in the upper tier of the arena.
The arena facade is constructed of 2,874 ETFE-foil air panels that are kept inflated with dry air to a differential pressure of 0.038 hPa. The panels appear white from far away but when examined closely, there are little dots on the panels. When viewed from far away, the eye combines the dots and sees white. When viewed close up however, it is possible to see through the foil. The foil has a thickness of 0.2 mm. Each panel can be independently lit with white, red, or blue light. The intention is to light the panels at each game with the colors of the respective home team, or white if the home team is the German national football team or used as a neutral venue, like the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final. Other colours and / or multicolor and / or interchanging lighting schemes are possible indeed, but Munich Police strongly insists on uni-color only due to several car accidents on the nearby autobahn A9 with drivers being distracted by the changing lights. Allianz arena's innovative stadium-facade lighting concept has been subsequently adopted in other newly built venues, like the MetLife Stadium, in the US, which lights up in blue for the Giants, green for the Jets, and red for a concert.With electricity costs for the light of about 50 Euros (75 USD) per hour only, the construction evolved such luminosity that in clear nights the stadium can easily be spotted even from Austrian mountain tops, e.g. from a distance of 50 miles (80 km).
From the subway station just south of the arena, visitors approach the stadium through a park that was designed to disentangle and guide them to the entrance. An esplanade rises gradually from ground level at the subway station entrance, practically building the parking garage's cover, to the entrance level of the stadium. On the other side of the Autobahn, the Fröttmaning Hill with its windmill affords a marvellous view on the stadium. Also the Romanesque Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche, the oldest structure on the area of the City of Munich designed to serve religious purposes, is located there together with its copy, an artwork in concrete as a reminder for the village of Fröttmaning which disappeared with the construction of the Autobahn.