Clubs: SK Sturm Graz & Grazer AK | Opening: 1997 | Capacity: 15,312 seats
History and description
The Merkur Arena, until 2016 called UPC-Arena, officially opened on 9 July 1997. It replaced the old Bundesstadion Graz-Liebenau. The first match played at the stadium was a friendly between GAK and Sturm Graz (0-4).
The stadium was initially named after Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was born in a suburb of the city Graz. Fans, however, never warmed up to the name, and after he took some controversial decisions as the governor of the state of California many voices went up to change the name of the stadium.
In the end, Arnold Schwarzenegger took the decision out of the hands of Grazer politicians when in 2005 he decided to rescind permission to use his name. The naming rights of the stadium got subsequently sold to cable firm UPC resulting in the name UPC-Arena.
In 2016, a new naming rights deal resulted in the name Merkur Arena.
How to get to the Merkur Arena
The Merkur Arena is located in the south of the city of Graz, about 2.5 kilometres from its historic city centre and about 2 kilometres more from the main railway station.
It takes roughly 30 minutes to walk to the stadium from the city centre. Alternatively, take either tram 4 or 13. Take the tram from Jakominiplatz (or tram 4 from Hauptplatz) in the direction of Liebenau Murpark. Get off at stop Stadion Liebenau.
From the main railway station first take a tram or bus (e.g. tram 1, 3, 6, and 7, or bus E) to Jakominiplatz and then change to tram 4 or 13.
If arriving by car, the Merkur Arena is easiest reached from the A2 motorway, which runs south of the city. Take exit 179 toward Knoten Graz-Ost and follow for Zentrum. Continue on the Süd Autobahn into the city. The stadium will lie on the left side of the road soon after a slight left curve.
Address: Stadionplatz 1, A–8041 Graz
Sturm Graz Tickets
Tickets for Sturm Graz games can be bought online, at the Fan Shop at the stadium, or at the fanshop at the Hans-Sachs-Gasse 8 in Graz’s city centre.
Expect to pay between €18.00 and €28.00 for a seat with prices for the fankurve sections a little cheaper. Prices for a number of high-profile matches (e.g. the major Vienna teams) are increased with a few euros.
Ticket for GAK games can be bought online or on the gate on the day of the match. Expect to pay between €13.00 and €20.00 for a ticket.
Useful Internet links
Sksturm.at – Official website of SK Sturm Graz.
Gak.at – Official website of GAK.
Mcg.at – Official website of the UPC-Arena.
Graztourismus.at – Graz tourist information.
Verbundlinie.at – Graz public transport information.