A unique ‘stadium of the future.’ That’s what RB Leipzig wanted to create in the German Bundesliga professional football association. The renovated stadium, previously updated in 2006, would include new technology and innovations to enhance the player and guest experience, as well as reflect RB Leipzig’s dynamic and innovative brand.
Since lighting is an important part of the stadium experience, an innovative new lighting project with 22 subprojects became an essential element of the plan. RB Leipzig and Signify entered into a forward-looking partnership to develop a comprehensive lighting concept - from architectural, field, and entertainment lighting, to UVC lighting for safety - including modern conversion and smart control of the lighting systems. Numerous areas of the stadium were equipped with networked, and future-proof lighting for the new season that is flexibly expandable in alignment with RB Leipzig’s innovation strategy.
With its breathtaking construction, the stadium offered unique design possibilities. The two bow-shaped trusses that hold the roof of the stadium are visible from beyond the city limits. They were incorporated into the lighting design, along with the stadium façade and roof, to create a significant long-distance effect with dynamic, colorful LED lighting. Red Bull Arena comes to life in the desired light to suit the occasion and becomes a spectacular landmark in the evening sky. When the red light of the Red Bulls greets fans on home game evenings, it fosters enthusiastic team spirit. Stunning new light scenes can be created to celebrate special occasions, events, and international games, extending the excitement of the stadium to the surrounding area.
Inside the stadium, players and officials prepare for kickoff in a newly designed Mixed Zone space – a room in which both teams meet before a game and walk to the pitch together, and where interviews with the players take place This space features two dynamic video walls and arrow-shaped lights on the ceiling in the RB Leipzig colors, a design element that extends throughout the entire stadium and into the VIP rooms, the skyboxes, and even the fan gates. Visitors sitting in the stands are immersed in a completely new and emotional entertainment experience that makes the entire stadium pulsate with a red and white light show each time the home team scores a goal.
Vari-Lite's Strand luminaires and controls play a vital role in this project. In addition to the existing NEO PC and NEO Playback Wing that control the pitch lighting, NEO Playback Controllers (2 pcs) store and run light shows for the bows above the roof, for the inside of the roof, and for the exterior ring around the stadium. Two NEO Playback Controllers are also used to control Strand 150S softlights (10 pcs) in the Mixed Zone that provide TV-compliant interview lighting. Three Vision.Net Touchscreens - one in the Mixed Zone, one in control room and one in the main server room - both control the Mixed Zone and entertainment lighting.
Color Kinetics luminaires were selected for the exterior and interior subprojects due to the wide range of products, reputation for reliable, colorful LED lighting technology, and deep expertise. A custom configuration single color LED version of ReachElite High Punch Powercore (130 pcs) was used on the inside of the stadium’s roof to bathe it in the Club’s signature red light. ColorBurst IntelliHue Powercore (128 pcs) (now specified with Burst Powercore gen3, IntelliHue) illuminates the bows on the roof with colorful light and was also mounted above the arrows in the Mixed Zone to provide white accent lighting. iColor Flex LMX gen2 (3988 nodes) (now specified with Flex Compact gen3, RGB) on the arrows highlights the Mixed Zone ceiling, provides accent lighting in the fan shop and service point, and provides dynamic video effects for the two LED screens on each wall of the Mixed Zone. Over 800 Vaya Tube, RGB (now specified with Vaya Tube G2, RGBW) 1.2 m (4 ft) and 0.3 m (1 ft) fixtures placed in vertical lines on the stadium’s south façade provide a dynamic direct view lighting display. ColorBlast IntelliHue Powercore gen4 (now specified with Blast Powercore gen5, IntelliHue) (135 pcs) luminaires located at the top of the exterior ring of the stadium offer general lighting on days without matches. Interact Sports, IoT-supported light management system, enables the lighting across the entire stadium to be easily controlled through one dashboard.
With the initial renovation comprising approximately 2,200 luminaires completed in September 2021, an estimated 3,000 fixtures will be installed by the end of 2022. The spectacular end-to-end lighting solution provides an engaging experience for fans throughout their stadium journey - from approaching the stadium to cheering on their team in the stands. Players soak in the lighting when exiting their dressing rooms, traveling through the Mixed Zone, entering the stadium, and playing on the field. The dynamic new lighting is representative of RB Leipzig’s DNA.
“We want to offer the best possible stadium experience for players, fans, and spectators at home, from the pitch to the stands. A holistic approach was important to us: The entire Red Bull Arena with its various elements was to be supported with the diverse possibilities of light. Signify offers many brands and areas from a single source and has supported us competently from planning to implementation. We are looking forward to focusing even more on the emotions for the fans." - Jens May, Chief Operations Officer at RB Leipzig