18+ | Commercial Content | T&Cs apply | Begambleaware.org
It's one of the world football's most recognisable stadiums and the home of German champions FC Bayern Munich, but what's the history behind the lights at the incredible Allianz Arena, and do they come on every night?
When does the Bayern Munich stadium light up?
Does the Allianz Arena light up every night?
On non-matchdays, the Allianz Arena lights up every night for three hours after sunset.
The standard colour for the stadium lights are red and white, with a three-minute red-only colour followed by three minutes of a white upper-half and red lower-half, with transition periods between.
However, on matchdays, the LED colours are determined by the home team. For home matches of FC Bayern, the stadium is lit fully in red. When the Germany national team plays at Munich's Allianz Arena, the ground is lit in white only.
There is some variation, too. The team behind the stadium regularly offer unique lighting linked to annual events, such as Advent, Pride and July 4th or for signings of FC Bayern, such as Sadio Mané in 2022.
The Allianz Arena lit up for Sadio Mane tonight. This is how you announce your star signings ✅ pic.twitter.com/Jxf0LJ5KnB
— Jon Boafo (@JonBoafo) June 22, 2022
Allianz Arena in the day
With a futuristic, spaceship feel to it, the Allianz Arena is a wonderful stadium during the day, too.
Why does the Allianz Arena light up?
The concept began with Swiss architect firm Herzog & de Meuron, who won the right to design the stadium after fierce competition in the early 2000s.
The original design was for a see-through exterior made of ETFE-foil panels which could be lit from the inside and would be self-cleaning. Construction on the Allianz Arena began in late 2002 and the stadium was complete, well in time for Germany's 2006 FIFA World Cup, in April 2005.
However, since then, the lighting system has been updated.
The facts behind the Allianz Arena's lights
The current LED lighting system at the Allianz Arena was installed, over 100 days, in October 2014.
While other stadiums across Europen have since followed suit, that made Bayern Munich's home ground the first in Germany to have a full exterior LED lighting system.
Crucial is the original design of the Allianz, made up of 2,784 air panels. Of these, 1,056 can be lit, which is all of those visible for fans from the outside. The total area illuminated by the LEDs is equivalent to the site of 3.5 football pitches. As for who was respomsible, a huge number of people were involved in the installation, from electrical contractors and engineers to lighting and software designers, the latter being organised by USA company Signify. Forty-five tonnes of material were used in the installation, and 6,500 luminaires.
Other stadiums have learnt from the Allianz Arena, including the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, which has adopted a similar concept for its two NFL teams the New York Giants and New York Jets.
There have been few issues with the brilliant lighting system, although the Munich Police have insisted on strongly limited multicolour or interchanting lighting schemes because of the distraction it causes to drivers on the nearby A9 Autobahn. There have been several car accidents on this road, meaning single-colour systems are almost always used.
How much does the Allianz Arena cost to light up?
The electricty costs for lighting up the Allianz Arena are at least €50 per hour.
Can you see the Allianz Arena from far away?
On a clear night, such is the power of the stadium's lights on the facade, the home of Bayern Munich can be seen easily from the top of the nearby Austrian mountain range, a full 80km away.
Allianz Arena seat view
Allianz Arena capacity
The capacity of Bayern Munich's stadium has steadily increased in recent years. In August 2014, the most recent expansion was completed to take a new maximum capacity for Bundesliga games of 75,024 and 69,334 for international competitions (in which there are different stadium regulations). Legally, however, there are slightly different limits, which are currently set at 75,000 for Bundesliga Games and 70,000 for UEFA Champions League fixtures.
When was the Allianz Arena stadium built?
Construction began in late 2002 and the stadium was ready for spectators in 2005. The first official lighting test took place a year before in October 2004, exactly ten years before an updated system was installed.
The stadium was officially opened at the end of May 2005 when the first two fixtures took place. With a traditional Bavarian derby to start, 1860 Munich faced Nuremberg on 30 May and then FC Bayern hosted the German national team the following day.
Can you do a Bayern Munich stadium tour?
Yes, absolutely, and it's a good one. Find more details here on Football Ground Guide.