German Bundesliga football club Hertha Berlin has announced plans to build a 55,000-capacity stadium by 2025.
Hertha is the only Bundesliga club that does not own its own stadium, and the team currently rents the Olympiastadion (pictured), which was originally built to host Berlin’s staging of the summer Olympic Games in 1936.
The club has proposed building a new stadium on the Olympiapark site where the Olympiastadion itself sits. Hertha’s rental agreement for the Olympiastadion expires in 2025, by which point the club intends to have moved into the new facility.
Should the plans not come to fruition, Hertha has proposed an alternative option. This would see the club build a new stadium in Brandenburg Park in Ludwigsfelde, nine kilometres south of the city border.
The Brandenburg Park proposal is purely seen as a back-up option, and Hertha said in a statement that the Berlin State Federal Government will support the Olympiapark plans.
Club president Werner Gegenbauer said the project would be privately financed and would not impact a listed landmark.
Hertha enlisted architecture and planning office Albert Speer + Partner to carry out a review of over 50 potential sites both inside and outside the Berlin city boundary. The firm considered public transport connections, local environment, public image, availability, development opportunities and risk of conflict before selecting the Olympiapark site as the most viable option.
Hertha, which currently sits fifth in the Bundesliga, pointed to the fact that the club only fills 64 per cent of the 74,000-seat Olympiastadion on match days, compared to a league average of 92 per cent.
Gegenbauer said a more suitably-sized stadium is needed to help the club progress. “In the Bundesliga world, which represents 95 per cent of our matchday operations, the stadium is no longer sustainable and suitable in the long run,” he said. “As a team and a medium-sized company, we do not want to carry the drawbacks of an ageing stadium that is too big.”
Gegenbauer added: “Hertha BSC strongly believes the Berlin federal government knows the necessity of a new stadium. Hertha should not be deprived of a future, just because a solution could not be found for a large, listed stadium the club does not even own. The clear favourite is the Olympiapark, with its best and already present infrastructure.”