If you’ve never been to the Allianz Arena before, remember that it’s rather easy to reach. Just hop on the U6 line on the Munich U-Bahn, and get off at Fröttmaning. You’ll see the stadium in the distance as soon as the train reaches the station.
But is it really that easy? Those of you who have been to the stadium will know that it’s quite a trek from the station to the stadium. Around 15 minutes on foot, to be precise. It may not be too challenging on a nice day, but how many days in Munich are actually nice? We’re talking about a place that snows in April, for crying out loud. Having to endure a freezing cold walk to the stadium and not feeling your toes for the entirety of the game is no fun, as is having to make a mad dash to the station in the rain to catch your train soaking wet.
So what can be done to appease the disgruntled guests of the Allianz Arena? Well, the most obvious answer would be to build a small branch line of the U6, and a new station right next to the stadium. Many football stadiums in the world have stations literally a stone’s throw away from them, so why not follow that example? Real Madrid’s Estadio Santiago Bernabeu is just across the street from its nearest metro station, while FC Seoul’s Seoul World Cup Stadium is right outside the exit from World Cup Stadium Station. Both take under five minutes from station to stadium, unlike the long walk you have to brave in Munich.
But is a new, closer station realistic? Well, the stadium is on the outskirts of Munich, so there is plenty of room for a new station. There also happens to be a train depot alongside Frötmanning, so extending the preexisting tracks for just half a mile should not be a problem. Overhead lines might complicate things, but the Munich U-Bahn takes its power from a third rail, not overhead lines, so that’s not a problem either. Considering the amount of people who visit the Allianz Arena, especially on matchdays, the station will be guaranteed to turn profits on a regular basis. If push comes to shove, train services can be restricted to matchdays only.
Tiny, one station branch lines are not uncommon in metro systems - Seoul Metro’s Line 1 has two on its own, while NJ Transit has the affectionately named “Princeton Dinky,” which transports people to and from Princeton University. Munich could do the same and save tourists a lot of trouble walking all the way to the stadium. The city should really think about investing in a short branch line to the stadium. Maybe FC Bayern will have to pay for it in some form, but if there’s one club in Europe that’s run really well financially, it’s Bayern, so no worries. The club will just have to push back its planned statues of Jupp Heynckes and his dog Cando a little bit…