German Bundesliga football club Borussia Dortmund has converted its Signal Iduna Park home stadium into a facility to care for people with COVID-19.

With the Bundesliga season having been suspended due to the pandemic, the 81,000-seat stadium will not be used for the foreseeable future. Dortmund has teamed up with the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians of Westphalia-Lippe (KVWL) to renovate the stadium to support the COVID-19 fight.

On Saturday, Signal Iduna Park, the largest football stadium in Germany, opened its doors to patients with suspected COVID-19 cases and related complaints.

The treatment centre will complement existing general practitioner care. The centre will be based on the fourth floor of the north grandstand of the stadium.

In a statement, Dortmund chief executives Hans-Joachim Watzke and Carsten Cramer said: “Our stadium is the figurehead of the city, a fixed point for almost everyone in Dortmund and the surrounding area and, thanks to its technical, infrastructural and spatial conditions, the ideal place to actively help people who are potentially infected or over-infected by the coronavirus complaints such as respiratory diseases and fever.

“It is our duty and our desire to do everything in our power to help these people. In the KVWL we have a perfect partner at our side to lead this fight successfully.”

Dortmund’s first COVID-19 treatment centre opened two weeks ago. “The influx of patients there is immense – after just one week we treated more than 1,000 patients,” said KVWL vice-chairman Dr. Volker Schrage and board member Thomas Müller.

“Our colleagues really do an excellent job but we noticed that we urgently need to expand our capacities.”

The Signal Iduna Park centre will be open daily from 12 noon to 4pm and registration will not be necessary.

Image: Borussia Dortmund