Hertha Berlin open to airport site for new stadium

German Bundesliga football club Hertha Berlin has said it will seriously consider the idea of building a new stadium on the site of Tegel Airport, after the proposal was put forward by Berlin Sports Senator Andreas Geisel.

The proposal comes amid continued debate over the subject of a new stadium for Hertha, which has stated its preference is to develop a new facility on the site of its current Olympiastadion home. Tegel Airport is due to close in 2021, with the long-delayed Brandenburg Airport (BER) scheduled to open in October 2020.

The Berliner Morgenpost newspaper said that Hertha had previously considered the Tegel site for a privately-financed stadium, only to dismiss the idea. In a statement released following Geisel’s comments, the club said: “We are pleased that Senator Geisel has made this proposal for the Berlin Senate.

“It is a good signal that the state government recognises the importance of a stadium of its own for Hertha BSC and, with Tegel Airport, brings an alternative location to our favourite site on the Olympic Park.

“Together with those involved in the Senate, we will seriously consider the idea of ​​constructing a stadium of the appropriate size on the grounds of Tegel Airport. However, it is still too early for a detailed assessment, especially on topics such as infrastructural connectivity.”

A number of potential issues have been raised by other politicians with regards the Tegel proposal, including the timeline being sought by Hertha for its stadium plans. Geisel stated that authorities could seek to “make arrangements with Hertha to make the club more comfortable in the Olympiastadion” if the airport site was chosen for future development.

Hertha last month said it remained focused on developing a new stadium on the site of the Olympiastadion (pictured), despite being dealt a major setback for its plans. It emerged last month that 1892ste Baugenossenschaft, a cooperative that owns residential buildings on land adjacent to the Olympiastadion where Hertha is seeking to build a new stadium, was no longer willing to sell its properties to the club.

In November, Hertha revealed it is targeting an opening date of July 25, 2025 for a new-look Olympiastadion, with a new stadium the favoured choice over redevelopment of its historic current home.

Built for the German capital’s hosting of the 1936 summer Olympic Games, the Olympiastadion has been Hertha’s home since 1963. However, with a current capacity of around 74,000, Hertha is seeking a more intimate home for football matches.