12 March 2024 – Bochum

New ‘Sportpark Lohrheide’ goes ahead on schedule

Exciting developments are well underway in Bochum with the highly-anticipated renovation of the ‘Lohrheidestadion’ - the venue for the athletics competitions at the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU World University Games. Soon, athletes will be competing for medals in this revamped sporting jewel, which will showcase the pinnacle of athletic prowess. Last month, FISU President Leonz Eder presented the first official venue plaque to Bochum Mayor Thomas Eiskirch.

To gain firsthand insight into the ongoing renovations at Lohrheidestadion, the leadership of the International University Sports Federation FISU (Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire), led by President Leonz Eder, graciously accepted an invitation from the city of Bochum to tour the construction site. Standing on the historic eastern grandstand of Lohrheidestadion in Bochum and overlooking the impressive new main grandstand to the west destined to be the focal point of the refurbished arena, the international delegation was visibly impressed by the sports complex. Claus Lufen moderated a talk featuring Thomas Eiskirch (Mayor of the City of Bochum), Carolin Jakobi (Project Lead), Luisa Deeken (high jump athlete of TV Wattenscheid 01 sports club), and Jürgen Hingsen (former decathlete). Walter Hellmich, CEO of HELLMICH Group, expressed his optimism regarding the progress on the construction site: “Today, we can confidently assert that the ‘Sportpark Lohrheide’ will be ready in time for the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU World University Games."

Thomas Eiskirch, Mayor of City of Bochum © Rhine-Ruhr 2025 / Andrea Bowinkelmann

Bochum Mayor Thomas Eiskirch is proud of the development around the Lohrheide. "We are all looking forward to the new Lohrheidestadion and the FISU World University Games 2025. Few regions in Germany are as enthusiastic and positively sports-crazy as the Ruhr area. The 'Sportpark Lohrheide' and the World University Games are a perfect fit. The Lohrheidestadion is currently undergoing a complete renovation. State and city invest 55 million euros in modernization. The Lohrheidestadion will be the only sports facility in North Rhine-Westphalia where German outdoor athletics championships can be held from 2025 onwards - a fantastic unique feature. Bochum will become the top location for athletics."

Sportpark Lohrheide Bochum, Planning and Design Concept © Hellmich Unternehmensgruppe / HPP Architekten

Nine months after the start of the renovation, the exactly 70-years-old Lohrheidestadion is already hardly recognizable. The roofs of the standing areas are taking shape, but the elements of the new west grandstand give a glimpse of the flagship arena that is under construction. The stadium will seat more than 16,000 fans when the athletics competitions of the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU World University Games take place at the ‘Sportpark Lohrheide’ over a total of seven days next year.

The state of North Rhine-Westphalia is providing a historically high sum of 30.9 million euros for a single project in sports facility construction, supporting the modernization and renovation efforts at Sportpark Lohrheide in Bochum. The goal of the reconstruction and modernization is to facilitate sustainable use within the region, thereby establishing North Rhine-Westphalia as a hub for national and international athletics events. The total investment for the renovation amounts to 55 million euros.

Carolin Jakobi, Project Lead at assmann GmbH © Rhine-Ruhr 2025 / Andrea Bowinkelmann

The surrounding area of the stadium will also undergo extensive modernization with facilities including a hall, warm-up stadium, and artificial turf pitch. Additionally, a sustainability concept has been put into place to help protect the climate and adapt to climate change. The stadium roofs will be equipped with photovoltaic systems with sufficient capacity for self-consumption. Geothermal energy as a renewable energy source is a cornerstone of a planned energy concept for heating and cooling. Overall, an environment in which athlete Luisa Deeken (TU Dortmund university) will also feel comfortable. The 22-year-old high jumper from TV Wattenscheid 01 is excited about the prospect: "Being able to compete under the future training and competition conditions is an incredible feeling. My goal is, of course, to meet the qualification standards for the FISU World University Games and I will work towards that. The prospects here motivate all athletes in the club."

Leonz Eder, FISU President © Rhine-Ruhr 2025 / Andrea Bowinkelmann

Carolin Jakobi from assmann GmbH presented an overview of how the ‘Sportpark Lohrheide’ will look exactly in the spring of 2025 at the press event. A recorded drone flight showcased the status quo. The highlight of the event came at the end: FISU President Leonz Eder presented Bochum Mayor Thomas Eiskirch with the first official plaque bearing the inscription: "Official Venue FISU World University Games." In total, there will be 22 competition venues across the cities of Bochum, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Essen, and Mülheim an der Ruhr during the Games next year. The athletics competitions in Bochum, much like in the Olympic Games, will play a special role. FISU President Leonz Eder emphasized this point, stating: “The athletes will feel at home in the 'Sportpark Lohrheide.' We are very proud to be able to host the athletics competitions here next year as an absolute highlight of the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU World University Games."

© Rhine-Ruhr 2025 / Andrea Bowinkelmann

Cover photo: © Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU World University Games / Andrea Bowinkelmann