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FC Köln’s home to retain RheinEnergieStadion moniker

Featured image credit: FC Köln

German Bundesliga football club FC Köln has extended its stadium naming rights deal with RheinEnergie.

The energy company, which is headquartered in Cologne, has held naming rights to the stadium since it reopened in 2004 following an extensive redevelopment. Originally known as the Müngersdorfer Stadion, the naming rights were renewed for a period of at least six seasons, through to the end of the 2023-24 campaign, back in May 2018.

Under the new deal, the venue will continue to be known as RheinEnergieStadion through to at least 2029, with the company also to serve as a key sponsor to the men’s and youth teams. The club and RheinEnergie will also work on joint sustainability projects.

FC Köln was said to be earning around €3.5m (£3m/$3.77m) per year under the previous contract. German media reports said this will now increase to around €4m to €4.5m per year through the new deal.

FC Köln managing director, Markus Rejek, said: “RheinEnergie has been the namesake of the stadium in Müngersdorf since 2004 and is therefore one of the oldest stadium naming deals in the Bundesliga.

“For us it is something special that the stadium in Cologne continues to bear the name of a Cologne company. We are very pleased that this successful Cologne connection will continue in the long term. As a regionally rooted company, RheinEnergie is one of our most important partners with whom we maintain a very trusting collaboration.”

Andreas Feicht, CEO of RheinEnergie, added: “As a long-standing partner, we will continue to stand by 1. FC Köln with passion and reliability in the future. We are pleased to be able to continue to support our club and the loyal fans with our commitment to professionals, young talent and the stadium.

“As a football temple and event location, the RheinEnergieStadion has appeal far beyond the borders of Cologne – here the name and stadium simply belong together.”

The naming rights extension follows last month’s news that FC Köln will continue playing at the RheinEnergieStadion until at least 2034 after signing a new 10-year lease agreement with the City of Köln and stadium owner Kölner Sportstätten.

As was previously the case, the lease includes a differentiation clause depending on whether FC Köln is in the Bundesliga or the 2.Bundesliga, with operating costs to be adjusted annually in accordance with “consumer price developments”. The club is currently 17th in the 18-team Bundesliga with two matches of the season remaining.

The new agreement also includes a commitment to build a new space entitled Club 78. Part of the existing office space of Kölner Sportstätten will also be converted into loge areas, which will be marketed by the company during major events outside of match days, and by the club on match days.

As part of the talks over a new deal, discussions were held regarding further modernisation of the stadium, which will be a host venue during this summer’s UEFA Euro 2024 tournament in Germany.