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The first of 53 steel truss roof elements was lifted into position for Germany's new Gelsenkirchen stadium on Friday. The 55t unit will be part of a grid supporting a translucent roof with a sliding centre section - part of the 'third generation' features of the 61,000 person stadium for Shalke football club in the Ruhr district. More unusually, the stadium, which is also a venue for rock concerts, exhibitions and television events, will keep its football pitch in a concrete tray which slides inside for matches. The design is modelled on the smaller Arnheim stadium in the Netherlands, which was also designed and built by Hollandesche Beton Groep. HBG hopes to build a series of such facilities across Europe before the 2006 World Cup. Coventry and Dublin are getting similar stadia, also with HBG involvement.

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