World famous music acts aside, Stadthalle Wien also hosts the yearly Freestyle Motocross Show “Masters of Dirt”, Austria’s biggest ATP-Tournament “Erste Bank Open”, as well as the enchanting “Apassionata” horse show. In May 2015, Stadthalle Wien even played host to the 60th Eurovision Song Contest.
A multipurpose venue for culture and events
Not only is Stadthalle Wien Austria’s biggest event venue and among the top 10 arenas in Europe. It’s also known for its versatility. Operas, musicals, rock concerts, TV shows, sports events, trade fairs, congresses and much more happen at Stadthalle every day — in total there are more than 300 events with about a million visitors each year.
The venue itself actually consists of six different arenas all under one roof. The stages can be used for events individually, as well as in combination with each other. The heart of Stadthalle is definitely Hall D. Boasting 16,000 seats, it’s Austria’s biggest event arena.
In 2006, Hall F opened its doors to the public. It’s one of Europe’s most modern stages and has been hosting musicals like “Dirty Dancing” or “We Will Rock You”. Hall E is yet another multipurpose venue and it’s directly connected to both Hall D and the Stadthalle sports halls.
Stadthalle Wien as a sports centre
Stadthalle has not one but two sports centres, Hall A and Hall B, which are used for training and competition purposes. Hall B even offers stands for spectators of events like the European Hockey Championships or smaller competitions like those of the local roller derby team.
Hall C is better known as EisStadhalle (“Ice-Stadthalle”) because of its generous ice rink, which also hosts the famous “Holiday on Ice” shows. Furthermore, Stadthalle has an Olympic-size pool, as well as a sauna and wellness complex. It’s used recreationally by the public but also hosts international swimming and diving competitions.
Dedicated to the arts from the get-go
Stadthalle Wien was Vienna’s first big event venue outside the city centre. In 1952, the City of Vienna held an international competition for the design of the new venue. Architect Roland Rainer won with his draft for a multipurpose venue that could host vast amounts of visitors. In 1954, the ground-breaking ceremony was held at the former imperial parade grounds in Vienna’s 15th district.
Four years later, President Adolf Schärf officially opened Stadthalle Wien with tens of thousands of spectators in attendance. The ballet of the Vienna State Opera performed and, for the first and only time in history, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra played a concert together.
Originally, Stadthalle opened with only two arenas, but 1994 and 2006 saw additional halls added. The 2006 addition, Hall F, was even awarded one of Austria’s most prestigious awards for architecture.
From the get-go, art was a significant factor for the developers of Stadthalle. They even integrated pieces of art into the architecture of the building itself, for example, Carl Unger’s mosaic which is a stylised map of the building. Architect Rainer also designed the famous stackable chair, the “Wiener Stadthallensessel”.