Around 600 guests from the worlds of sport, politics and economics were in attendance as the DFB lay the cornerstone for the construction of the new association headquarters and its academy in Frankfurt on Thursday, September 26. The special guests included German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel, who helped fill and seal the ceremonial cornerstone alongside DFB vice presidents Dr. Reinhard Rauball and Dr. Rainer Koch, general secretary Dr. Friedrich Curtius, treasurer Dr. Stephan Osnabrügge, national teams and academy director Oliver Bierhoff, Die Mannschaft head coach Joachim Löw, DFB-Frauen head coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, Mayor of Frankfurt Peter Feldmann, executive board member at general contractors “Groß und Partner” Peter Matteo and architect Gerhard Wittfeld.
The Chancellor also buried a 70-year anniversary edition of the German constitution within the cornerstone. “The constitution is the foundation for life in our free and democratic state of Germany,” said Angela Merkel. “It stands for the values that unite us, values from which football’s integrative power as a sport grows. The DFB couldn’t build its new headquarters and academy upon a better foundation.”
Laying the cornerstone is the next milestone for the new build following the approval of the building permit, the handing-over of the land from the city of Frankfurt am Main and the groundbreaking ceremony on May 3. The new DFB headquarters and academy will bring administration and sport under one roof for the first time. The building will be 307 metres long and at most 18.5 metres high. Alongside administrative offices and the academy, the complex will also feature a football hall and a multi-purpose hall. The pocket of land in Frankfurt-Niederrad will also be home to three and a half grass football pitches, as well as three further training pitches. The maximum investment volume is expected to be €150 million, with the project due to be complete in 2021.
Dr. Rainer Koch, DFB first vice president, said, “Alongside hosting EURO 2024 in Germany, the new build of this centre of excellence for German football is the central project for the future of our association. Both top-level and grassroots football will benefit equally from it. We will be able to pool our skills together more effectively to offer a comprehensive service to the whole footballing family, particularly our regional and state associations.”
Second vice president Dr. Reinhard Rauball added, “The future is really starting to take shape. Laying the cornerstone for the DFB Academy marks the start of a new way of teaching and learning in German football. We’re not just building a new home – we’re establishing a new approach for cooperation, transparency and networking when it comes to footballing knowledge, so that every individual within the German footballing pyramid can profit from it.”
DFB general secretary Dr. Friedrich Curtius said, “We’re taking important steps in the future of the DFB. There is a spirit of optimism surrounding the new build; the anticipation to move into our new home is huge. The way our staff identify with the association and its development shows just how important and right this new build is. It’s been a pleasure to lay this symbolic cornerstone today. To have Chancellor Angela Merkel here means a great deal to the DFB and myself.”