Since opening in 2001 the VELTINS Arena has established itself as a top European venue. Today a big open-air stage, tomorrow the home ground of FC Schalke 04, the day after tomorrow an exhibition centre, opera house or cathedral of boxing – the VELTINS Arena is a veritable quick-change artist. Within just a few hours it can be transformed into a venue for almost every event. Schalke's home ground regularly attracts a full house of 61,973 spectators. "The world has yet to see a stadium like this one," said FIFA president Joseph S. Blatter at the official opening. European football's governing body, UEFA, awarded the multipurpose stadium a maximum of five stars. The VELTINS Arena sets new standards: giant videocube, the withdrawable pitch, movable stands, the retractable roof and the cashless payment system are just some of the technical highlights.
Millions of people have flocked to Schalke to see national and international headline music acts such as U2, Robbie Williams, Bon Jovi, AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, Herbert Grönemeyer and PUR. The VELTINS Arena has also hosted opera hits such as Carmen and Aida and sports events such as the Biathlon World Team Challenge, the 2010 World Ice Hockey Championship, which set a new world attendance record, the Klitschko boxing nights and the 2004 Champions League final. In 2006 the stadium also hosted 3 group matches and the quarter final of the World Cup 2006.