If you watched the Seattle Seahawks get beat by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this last Sunday, did you look closely at the stadium? There is a crazy cool and unusual fact about that stadium you probably didn’t even notice.
What is Allianz Arena in Germany
Allianz Arena is the 2nd biggest stadium in Germany and can hold an estimated 70,000 fans. The arena was filled to the max last Sunday when the Buccaneers beat the Seattle Seahawks for the first NFL game in Germany. The naming rights for the stadium have been purchased for 30 years however Allianz name can’t be used for any UEFA or FIFA events. Allianz Arena opened for events for the first time in 2005 and is famous for one really unique and surprising trait.
What is Unique About Allianz Area?
You may not even notice it unless you are near the stadium, but the walls are not made from metal or anything hard. The walls of Allianz Arena are technically ETFE plastic balloon bags filled with air. The unique covering allows for a cheap durable covering that allows for the outside to be illuminated with lights. I assumed the lights we saw were shined on the surface from the outside, but it really comes from inside.
How Does the Covering Stay Inflated at Allianz Arena?
I was lucky enough to have a few friends actually go to the game and tell me about the stadium. Each section of the covering has an air input connected that continuously forces air into the individual bubbles.
If you look at the picture above, you can see exactly what I am talking about. There are air intake hoses at each corner of the structure keeping the bubbles filled. All of the almost 3,000 panels are kept at 3.5pa. The bubble panels themselves look white from a distance but really are lots of white dots. When viewed from a close distance, the panels are easy to see through.
Why the Lights on Allianz Arena Do Not Flash
Each panel of the walls are independently illuminated by its own light system and can be controlled independently. The stadium walls used to flash different colors during events but after causing accidents on the A9 Autobahn police requested that the colors remain static. During the Seahawks and Buccaneers game, the stadium was lit up with both the teams’ colors until the end when the Bucs won. Then it was switched to all Bucs colors.
Is Allianz Arena the Only Stadium to Use ETFE Coverings?
Actually, there are a few stadiums that use the same covering as Allianz Arena. Sofi Stadium in LA also uses ETFE for the roof and US Bank Stadium also uses it for the roof. MetLife Stadium does not use ETFE panels but has copied the lighting idea from Allianz Arena, although they illuminate from the outside.
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