FC Red Bull Salzburg
Red Bull Arena - Wals-Siezenheim, Salzburg
Capacity: 30,188 (29,950 Euro)
Opened: 2003 (Renovated: 2006 & 2008)
Address: Stadionstraße 2/3, 5071 Kleßheim
Red Bull Salzburg are the most successful Austrian club of the last decade. They have been indomitable in domestic action, collecting 10 of the last 13 Bundesliga titles (including six in a row) and six of the last eight Austrian Cups. It's a period of prolonged dominance that isn't matched in Austrian club history.
But how did this happen? Very, very briefly - SV Austria Salzburg were controversially taken over by Red Bull, a Salzburg-based company, in 2005 - changing the name and disowning the club's previous history (this was quickly altered after an ÖFB mandate). Austria Salzburg, known as Casino Salzburg at the time, were UEFA Cup finalists in 1994 and also won three league titles in the 1990s. Anyway, this topic is talked about ad infinitum so we'll move on.
The Red Bull Arena was originally opened in 2003 as the 18,200 capacity Stadium Wals, but was quickly designated to be one of the host grounds of the 2008 European Championships so was therefore expanded to 30,188 in 2007 (which must be the quickest renovation of a stadium ever!). The modern Red Bull Arena is a beautifully-created bowl that when full produces an atmosphere that most fans would be incredibly surprised by. From the outside it doesn't look particularly imposing, until you realise that half of the stadium is built below ground level.
The city of Salzburg itself is one of the gems of Europe. The sounds of Mozart cascade through its beautiful Altstadt and the views from the Hohensalzburg Fortress are simply breathtaking. The whole old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and luckily for any day-trippers can be seen within two to three hours - meaning there's more than enough time to see a Bundesliga game as well!
Stiegl beer is great. Any Austrian restaurant you'll enter has great food. Just go to Salzburg and check it out for yourself, you will not be disappointed.
How to get there?
This depends on preference really. We've all been to Salzburg 10+ times now, so we tend to get the S-Bahn directly from Salzburg train station to Europark Salzburg Taxham (skipping the old town)- from here it's a 10 minute walk to the stadium. The Salzburg Mülln-Altstadt station (close to the centre) is on the same line. If you're deep inside the Altstadt, you can take one of the numerous shuttle buses that are laid on for you beginning at Ferdinand-Hanusch-Platz- these are free with your match ticket and take you directly to the stadium.
Only European nights, big games against Rapid Vienna, or title duels with LASK come close to selling out the Red Bull Arena (which is capped at 29,000 for European games and around 17,000 for Bundesliga games). If you're attending a normal Bundesliga game, you'll easily get tickets on the day at the stadium. The ticket office is easily signposted. You can also get Print@Home tickets from the club's website: https://www.redbullsalzburg.at/en/tickets.html