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Borussia Dortmund’s stadium looks unrecognisable in pictures released by club

Borussia Dortmund's stadium, Signal Iduna Park, is one of the most recognisable and iconic stadiums in world football. Over the past 20 years, the stadium has grown in stature and reputation to become a ground associated with high-octane football and passionate supporters.

The giant ‘Yellow Wall' at one end of the stadium is regarded by many as the single greatest stand in European football with a capacity of 25,000. The terrace is a single-tiered behemoth and is the largest free-standing grandstand in Europe. It is where the club's most passionate supporters stand and can create a hugely intimidating atmosphere for the opposition, particularly when Dortmund are attacking that end.

Signal Iduna park
Signal Iduna park is now a stunning football stadium – Photo by Icon Sport

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the stadium, previously known as the Westfalenstadion, with the grand opening coming on 2 April 1974. To mark the occasion, Borussia Dortmund have released a video showing how the stadium has evolved over the years.

How Borussia Dormtund's stadium has changed over the years

The video shows how much the stadium has changed in 50 years with the first images from 1974 showing a completely unrecognisable and unremarkable Westfalenstadion. The stadium was built for the World Cup that same year and had a capacity of 54,000. It had been built on a tight budget which perhaps explains why it looked so bland and basic upon completion.

Borussia Dortmund's stadium 50 years ago
How the Westfalenstadion looked when it was first built in 1974 – Photo by Borussia Dortmund

In 1992, the capacity was reduced due to new UEFA regulations on standing. Large standing areas in the stadium were converted to seats which resulted in the capacity dropping to 42,800. Three years later, after Dortmund won the Bundesliga, the stadium was restored to 54,000 with the East and West Stands both getting a second tier.

Two years later and Dortmund were European champions. To celebrate, the club expanded the Northern and Southern Grandstand to make the overall capacity of the stadium 68,800. This was the point in which the ‘Yellow Wall' (Southern Grandstand) reached its 25,000 capacity to make it the largest free-standing grandstand in Europe.

Westfalenstadion
The Westfalenstadion was once a far more modest stadium – Photo by Borussia Dortmund

The most recent updates to the stadium came ahead of the 2006 World Cup. The stadium failed to fulfil the necessary requirements to host semi-final matches so four new stands were built to fill in all four corners around the ground. This meant that international games, which were required to be all-seated, now had a capacity of 67,000 (up from 52,000). The overall capacity of the stadium went up to 81,365.


Andy Delaney

Andy is a freelance sports writer with ten years of experience covering major sporting events across Europe. He has also been a season ticket holder at Old Trafford since 2008 and has visited over 40 football stadiums in the United Kingdom and abroad following the Reds.

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