Aurena AufSchalke, currently known as Veltins-Arena is an indoor football stadium, located in Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It opened in 2001, as the new home ground of FC Schalke 04. The stadium has a retractable roof and a retractable pitch. Plans to construct a new stadium emerged in the late 1990s, as fans and managers sought to move out of the outdated Parkstadion, and create a thoroughly modern multifunctional arena. Following Schalke 04’s historic 1997 victory in the UEFA Cup, and the club’s upcoming 100th anniversary in 2004, the decision was taken to construct a €186 million stadium. The site chosen for Schalke 04’s new stadium is in the direct vicinity of the old Parkstadion, on an extensive piece of club owned property known as the “Berger Feld”. Unfortunately, two mine shafts of the “Consolidation” and “Hugo” coal-mines run directly beneath this field at a depth of 800 m. These shafts (in use until 2000) would have caused unwanted shifts and tensions that could have compromised the structural integrity of the stadium. To avoid this, the main axis was rotated from the classic north–south arrangement to a northeast–southwest alignment, making the arena parallel to the mines. The Veltins-Arena was created as a multi-functional arena of two tiers that completely surround the playing field. These allow for a league capacity of 62,271 spectators (standing and seated) and an international capacity of 54,740.
Parkstadion was multi-purpose stadium in Gelsenkirchen where FC Schalke 04 played its matches until 2001. The stadium was built in 1973 and hosted five matches of the 1974 FIFA World Cup. It had a capacity of 62,109 with seats for 45,067. The stadium hosted two UEFA Euro 1988 fixtures (West Germany v Denmark), and The Netherlands v the Republic of Ireland, as well as the first leg of the 1997 UEFA Cup Final between Schalke and Internazionale. The last competitive football match played in the stadium was a Bundesliga fixture between Schalke and SpVgg Unterhaching on 19 May 2001. The match was attended by approximately 65,000 people. At the end of the match, after a difficult 5–3 win against SpVgg Unterhaching, and thanks to a last minute goal scored by Hamburger SV against Bayern Munich, the crowd celebrated Schalke’s first Bundesliga title before Patrik Andersson equalized in the additional time for Bayern, made Bayern retain the title and instantly killed the joy of the fans celebrating in Parkstadion.