All Change in Frankfurt
July was a month of change in Frankfurt as after 15 years of being referred to as the 'Commerzbank Arena', Eintracht's stadium became officially known as 'Deutsche Bank Park' in a seven year naming rights deal worth €38 million. Stadium naming rights aren't something that interest football fans greatly and they tend to view such matters as just another example of rampant commercialism in the game. They will no doubt continue to refer to the stadium as the Commerzbank, or even it's original name 'Waldstadion' but something that will be music to their ears is the update that Eintracht have given regarding plans to create the second largest terrace in world football (second only to Dortmund's Südtribune) in a move that flies in the face of modern stadium trends. Work is set to begin strengthening the north-west end of the ground and extending it's upper tier downwards by several rows. Doesn't sound too ambitious does it? Not on the face of it, no - but in order to create cheaper tickets whilst improving the matchday atmosphere and expanding the fanbase in the process; the plan is to increase the terrace capacity from the current 7,435 to 20,344 by REMOVING (not adding) corporate hospitality boxes !
While it's not possible to create a single-tier terrace in the arena without some very costly work, removal of the hospitality areas is seen as an economically viable way of merging both tiers in the north-west end of the ground. The proposed changes will increase overall stadium capacity from 51,500 to nearly 60,000 - although UEFA's all-seater ruling would still be enforced and require temporary seating to be installed across the whole stand for European matches. However, capacity for both European and International matches would increase to just a shade under 50,000.
The work will be carried out over 30-35 months so as not to cause any disruption to Eintracht's matches and is expected to be completed during the 2022 Qatar World Cup.