Merkur-Arena - Sturm Graz Stadium Guide

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By Football Tripper
Last Updated: September 4, 2021

aerial view of the UPC Arena

UPC-Arena formerly known as Arnold Schwarzenegger-Stadium between (1995-2005) is a football stadium located in the second largest city in Austria, Graz. Home to local team SK Sturm Graz who were founded in 1909, the football ground has a capacity of 15,400 – the third largest in the Bundesliga.

Sturm Graz Stadium Guide

Stadium Facts

Overview
Team:Sturm Graz
Opened:1997
Capacity:15,400
Address: Stadionplatz 1, Graz-Liebenau, Styria, 8041
Pitch Size:105 x 68 m
Stadium Owner:Stadion Liebenau Betriebs GmbH
Operator:City of Graz
Wikipedia:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebenauer_Stadium
Stadium Names
Names:Liebenauer Stadium
Former Names:Arnold Schwarzenegger-Stadion (1995–2005), Stadion Graz-Liebenau (2005–2006), UPC-Arena (2006–2016)
Construction Details
Broke Ground:9th January 1995
Built:1995-1997

Merkur-Arena History

The UPC Arena was constructed over a three year period between 1994 – 1997 after the original facilities known as “Federal Stadion Graz-Liebenau” on the site of the new stadium had became antiquated, having first opened back in June 1951 when the regional Steiermark football federation took on Sunderland AFC.

Hosting the 91st Graz City Derby between the home side, SK Sturm Graz and Grazer AK, the ground had an initial capacity of 15,400 and was initially known as the Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadion Graz-Liebenau. T

he decision to name the stadium in honour of the locally born Hollywood film star and famous Body-builder proved to be controversial with Schwarzenegger himself actually revoking his use of the naming rights to the stadium in 2005 following public scrutiny of one of his decisions as the Governor of California.

Following the Terminator star’s rejection of inmate Stanley Williams’s appeal for clemency from his death sentence, the former gang leader was executed by lethal injection after serving life in prison for chages of first-degree murder. With most European countries not advocating the death penalty unlike some parts of the United States, the decision ignited intense debate in his home town with politicians calling for the removal of his association with the stadium.

With the stadium nameless, the local stadium operators opened up the naming-rights up to tender and in 2006 agreed a long term term deal with telecommunications company UPC Austria, becoming the UPC Arena. In 2012 plans were revealed to reconstruct parts of the stadium to bring the facilities up to the new FIFA decreed standards in order to host more International matches such as the friendly between England and Japan in the summer of 2010.

Exterior and sign for UPC Arena

View of Merkur-Arena

S.K. Sturm Graz Info

Full Name:Sportklub Puntigamer Sturm Graz
Rivals:Grazer AK, Austria Wien, Rapid Wien, Red Bull Salzburg
Founded:1909
Team Colours:Black and White
Nicknames:Die Schwoazn (The Blackies)
Training Ground:Trainingszentrum Messendorf
Former Stadiums:Gruabn Stadion (1909-1995)
Famous Players:Günther Neukirchner, Jakob Jantscher, Stefan Hierländer
Famous Managers:Ivica Osim, Franco Foda, Karl Schlechta
Team Owner:Christian Jauk
Team Goalscorer:Mario Haas (179)
Most Appearances:Mario Haas (550)
Official Website:https://www.sksturm.at/
Team Wikipedia:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SK_Sturm_Graz

Merkur-Arena Seating Plan

Below is a seating plan of Sturm Graz's Merkur-Arena:

Seating chart for UPC Arena

Stand Photos

UPC Arena is comprised of the four stands: North, East, South and West.

Click the thumbnails above to enlarge an image of each stand and to read a more detailed description of each part of the Stadium.

Matchday Experience

Merkur-Arena Away Section

Away fans are housed within section 23 and 24 within the south stand as shown by the yellow areas in the above seating plan.

Sturm Graz Club Shop

SK Sturm Graz supporters inside the stadium

Sturm Graz Club Shop

The fanshop at Stadion Liebenau only opens from 12.00 pm on matchdays however the store in the city centre is open Tuesday to Friday: 9.30 am – 6.00 pm and on Saturdays between 9.30 am to 2.00 pm. The full address of this store is “Girardigasse 1, 8010 Graz,”.

Alternatively you could browse official merchandise from SK Strum’s online store.

Can you take a stadium Tour?

It doesn’t appear as if either SK Sturm or the municipality of Graz currently offers stadium tours of UPC Arena.

How to buy Sturm Graz Tickets

Tickets to see Sturm Graz can be purchased through the usual channels: Online from the official website, from the club shop during the week, and at the stadium before kick-off on matchdays.

Adult Prices

  • Main Stand: €26.00 – €28.00
  • Corner Sectors: €21.00
  • Family Sector: €18.00
  • Fankurve (9- 13): €16.00

Please note that the above prices apply to Category 2 matches, and Category 1 carry a surcharge of anywhere between €2.00 – €4.00. Category 1 games are usually only against Red Bull Salzburg, FK Austria Wien and SK Rapid WIen.

How to get to Merkur-Arena

Where is Merkur-Arena?

UPC Arena is located approximately 3.0 km south of Graz city centre within the suburb of Liebenau which is where the stadium’s non-commercial name is derived from


Driving

The stadium’s address for satnav is as follows:

  • Stadionpl. 1, 8041 Graz, Austria

Car Parks

There appears to be parking available 10 minutes south of UPC Arena at the Murpark Shopping Center and station which is known as “Graz Liebenau Murpark”.

Train - Public Transport

Graz Railway Station (Hbf) offers an overground service to UPC Arena via the “Graz Ostbahnhof-Messe” stop, however it’s usually for commuters and only departs around once an hour.

UPC Arena tram

Public Transport of Merkur-Arena

Airports and Flying

The city of Graz is served by its own airport which is around 10 km south of the city centre and connected via an overground train service.

Hotels Near Merkur-Arena

The closest place to stay to UPC Arena is undoubtedly the Amedia Luxury Hoel although as the name implies it’s not the most wallet friendly option out there. Three mid priced hotels close to the station and centre of Graz are Hotel Ibis, Best Western and Hotel Daniel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who plays at Merkur-Arena?

Austrian side Sturm Graz play their home matches at Merkur-Arena.

What is the capacity of Merkur-Arena?

As of 2021 Merkur-Arena has an official seating capacity of 15,400 for Football matches.

When was Merkur-Arena opened?

Merkur-Arena officially opened in 1997 and is home to Sturm Graz

What is the postcode for Merkur-Arena?

The postcode for Merkur-Arena is 8041.

Are there any Covid restrictions at the stadium?

Covid Restrictions may be in place when you visit Merkur-Arena in 2021. Please visit the official website of Sturm Graz for full information on changes due to the Coronavirus.

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