Stadium with capacity that puts Premier League grounds to shame is shadow of former glory after it was left abandoned | The SunSeptember 18, 2023
SCHALKE moved out of their Parkstadion home back in 2001 after 28 years.
The Bundesliga side had played at the multi-purpose venue since 1973, but departed for the glossy new Veltins Arena.
Parkstadion had hosted five matches at the 1974 World Cup, including Yugoslavia's record-breaking 9-0 thrashing of Zaire.
It also put on a series of high-profile concerts, with the likes of Michael Jackson and The Rolling Stones having played there.
But as it began to age, Schalke deemed it necessary to move to a new state-of-the-art home.
The 2000-01 campaign would be the German side's last season at the 62,004 capacity venue, which held more than most Premier League grounds.
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They beat SpVgg Unterhaching 5-3 in a dramatic thriller to end their 28 years at Parkstadion.
Schalke fans celebrated wildly as they thought the win had clinched them the title, only for a last-minute Bayern Munich equaliser elsewhere to snatch it away.
Following the Royal Blues' departure, Parkstadion was partly demolished.
As the ground was taken apart, Schalke even gave its old jumbotron to a stadium in German town Aue.
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Standing under a kilometre from the 62,271 capacity Veltins Arena, the remains of Parkstadion offers fans a reminder of what used to be.
The old ground still has one of its stands open – featuring benches rather than individual seats.
A pitch still remains in the same spot, with Schalke using it occasionally.
They played there as recently as March of this year, when they beat VVV-Venlo in a friendly in front of just 1,113 people.
In exhibition matches against SC Verl and SV Meppen during the summer of 2022 they were cheered on by 2,999 fans.
Behind one of the goals now stands a hotel, where fans can stay on matchdays over at Veltins.
Schalke have had a rough time of it in recent years.
Since finishing second in 2018 they have twice been relegated from the Bundesliga.
After winning just seven matches all year last time out they crashed back down to the second tier, where they currently languish.
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