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Information for England fans about the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen, where the Three Lions kick-off their EURO 2024 campaign against Serbia.

Arena AufSchalke (Veltins-Arena)
Location: Gelsenkirchen, NRW
Opened: 13 August 2001
Capacity: 54,740

England’s opening game against Serbia will take place in Gelsenkirchen at a stadium that will be very familiar to fans who remember the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

After all, it was at the Arena AufSchalke that England lost a quarter-final to Portugal on penalties, but the 54,740-capacity stadium presents the Three Lions with a chance to write a new chapter in the history of English football.

First opened in August 2001, the Arena AufSchalke – aka Veltins-Arena for sponsorship reasons – has been the home of 2.Bundesliga side FC Schalke ever since then. While the club may have suffered on the pitch in recent years, it’s still very much a state-of-the-art facility, having hosted Germany matches as recently as June 2023.

This summer, the Arena AufSchalke will host a Group A tie between Spain and Italy on 20 June, a Group F clash six days later, and a round of 16 fixture on 30 June.


Joe Cole's astonishing free-kick v Serbia

England secure a 2-1 victory over Serbia and Montenegro at a packed Walkers Stadium in 2003

Fan Park: Trabrennbahn (racecourse), Gelsenkirchen

A special EURO 2024 Festival for England fans will take place on the Trabrennbahn racecourse in the heart of Gelsenkirchen. Admission to the Fan Fest is free and the event will feature music, games, food (and beer) trucks in addition to public viewing areas with a capacity to host up to 40.000 fans.

All EURO 2024 matches of the day will be screened. Contrary to earlier announcements, beer will be served in Gelsenkirchen throughout the summer. There will be a free shuttle bus service connecting Gelsenkirchen’s central station with the Trabrennbahn and with the Arena AufSchalke where the match will take place.

Getting to Gelsenkirchen

Trains: Gelsenkirchen Central Station is the city’s main local and long-distance transport hub. Around 30 long-distance trains depart from Gelsenkirchen every day and over 300 regional trains go to the surrounding cities daily.

Planes: Düsseldorf Airport (DUS) is the closest to Gelsenkirchen and located about 40km southwest of the city. From there, the RE2 and RE3 train lines offer a direct connection to Gelsenkirchen Central Station which will take you approximately 35 minutes. If you opt for a taxi, it’ll take you between 40 and 60 minutes and cost about €100.

Automobiles: Please do not travel to Gelsenkirchen by car during EURO 2024. Tournament traffic can increase your journey time significantly, and Gelsenkirchen city centre can get very busy with residents and commuters. Stadium parking will be extremely limited and strictly for pre-booked cars only. If car is your only option, Gelsenkirchen is accessible via the A2, A40, A42 and A52 motorways.

You can find out more about Gelsenkirchen via UEFA's city guide here.