Exciting developments are taking place in Bochum-Wattenscheid: The renovation of the 'Lohrheidestadion' and the surrounding area, designated as the venue for the athletics competitions of the 2025 Rhine-Ruhr FISU World University Games, is progressing smoothly.

To gain a first-hand insight into the ongoing renovation of the Lohrheidestadion, the leadership of the International University Sports Federation (FISU), led by President Leonz Eder, graciously accepted an invitation from the city of Bochum to visit the construction site. 

Standing on the historic east stand of the Lohrheidestadion in Bochum-Wattenscheid, with a view of the impressive new main stand to the west, which will be the focal point of the renovated arena, the international delegation was impressed by the sports complex. 

Claus Lufen moderated a discussion with featuring Thomas Eiskirch (Mayor of the City of Bochum), Carolin Jakobi (Project Lead), Luisa Deeken (high jumper for TV Wattenscheid 01 sports club) and Jürgen Hingsen (former decathlete). Walter Hellmich, CEO of the HELLMICH Group, was optimistic: "Today, we can confidently say that the 'Sportpark Lohrheide' will be ready in time for the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU World University Games." 

The Mayor of Bochum, Thomas Eiskirch, is proud of the development around the Lohrheide. "We are all looking forward to the new Lohrheidestadion stadium and the FISU World University Games 2025. Few regions in Germany are as enthusiastic and positive about sport as the Ruhr Area. The 'Sportpark Lohrheide' and the World University Games are a perfect match."

"The Lohrheide stadium is currently being completely renovated. The state and the city are investing 55 million euros in the modernisation. The Lohrheidestadion will be the only sports facility in North Rhine-Westphalia where the German outdoor athletics championships can be held from 2025 - a fantastic uniqueness. Bochum will become the top location for athletics," he added. 

The Lohrheidestadion is the best possible venue for Rhein-Ruhr 2025. FISU
The Lohrheidestadion is the best possible venue for Rhein-Ruhr 2025. FISU

Nine months into the renovation project, the 70-year-old Lohrheidestadion is almost unrecognisable. The roofs of the standing areas are taking shape, but the elements of the new west stand give a glimpse of the flagship arena that is under construction. 

The stadium will hold more than 16,000 fans when the athletics competitions of the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU World University Games take place over seven days at the Lohrheide Sports Park next year. 

Bochum is investing around €55 million in the stadium, most of which will come from the city's sports facilities construction fund and urban development grants from the state. The area around the stadium is also being extensively modernised with facilities such as a hall, warm-up stadium and an artificial turf pitch with a sustainability concept also put in place to protect the climate. The roofs of the stadiums will be equipped with photovoltaic systems with sufficient capacity for the stadiums' own consumption.

Geothermal energy as a renewable energy source is a cornerstone of a planned energy concept for heating and cooling. All in all, an environment in which athlete Luisa Deeken (TU Dortmund University) will also feel at home. The 22-year-old high jumper from TV Wattenscheid 01 is excited about the prospect.

"To be 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," she added.

Everything is getting on time for the 2025 Rhine-Ruhr FISU World University Games. FISU
Everything is getting on time for the 2025 Rhine-Ruhr FISU World University Games. FISU

At the press event, Carolin Jakobi of the GmbH gave an overview of what the Lohrheide Sports Park will look like in spring 2025. A recorded drone flight showed the status quo. The highlight of the event came at the end: FISU President Leonz Eder handed over the first official plaque with the inscription: "Official Venue FISU World University Games". 

There will be 22 competition venues across in Bochum, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Essen, and Mülheim an der Ruhr during next year's Games. Similar to the Olympic Games, the athletics competitions in Bochum-Wattenscheid will play a special role. FISU President Leonz Eder emphasised this point. 

"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," he pointed out. 

The Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU World University Games will take place from 16 to 27 July 2025 in the cities of Bochum, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Essen and Mülheim an der Ruhr. Around 10,000 athletes and officials from 170 countries are expected in the Rhine-Ruhr region. Medals will be awarded in sports including athletics, swimming and basketball, among others.