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New name for Fortuna Düsseldorf stadium

The home stadium of newly-promoted German Bundesliga football club Fortuna Düsseldorf has been rebranded as the Merkur Spielarena through an agreement with the D.Live event management company and gambling and gaming company Gauselmann Gruppe.

Gauselmann Gruppe’s Merkur brand will hold naming rights to the facility for 10 years, with the deal to officially begin on August 3.

The stadium, which has a capacity of 56,000, is currently known as the Esprit Arena through an agreement with clothing manufacturer Esprit.

Gauselmann Gruppe will support a host of Düsseldorf-based sports teams and athletes as part of the agreement.

Stadium managing director Burkhard Hintzsche said: “With Gauselmann, we have not only found a long-term sponsor for the sports and events arena, but also a partner who sustainably supports the sports city of Düsseldorf and its clubs.

“For the first time in the history of the city, the stadium will operate debt-free and economically in the foreseeable future. With the sponsorship of Düsseldorfer EG, the Düsseldorfer Panther, the Rhein Vikings, the women’s team of the Düsseldorfer Hockeyclubs (DHC), women’s football and the Tokyo Olympic team, the development of Düsseldorf’s competitive sports will be permanently secured.”

Paul Gauselmann, chief executive and founder of the Gauselmann Gruppe, added: “Even though our headquarters are located in the extreme north-east of North Rhine-Westphalia and therefore far away from Düsseldorf, we, as a well-known sponsor of sports, health and culture, have long been in the capital of the state and therefore have a clear presence and commitment to NRW.

“Being naming partner of the arena and partner of the sports city of Dusseldorf is a unique offer, which we gladly accepted, because it also suits us as a company of the leisure industry.”

Fortuna has played at the stadium since it opened in 2004. Next season will mark the club’s return to the top flight of German football following a five-year absence.

Image: Alexander Kaiser