German Bundesliga football club Hertha Berlin has reiterated its intention to develop a new stadium adjacent to its current Olympiastadion home in the Olympiapark, releasing fresh renderings of its vision for such a project.
Hertha has been attempting to progress plans to develop a new home for several years and in February 2020 stated that the Olympiapark would be its preferred location. In November 2018, Hertha revealed it was 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 stadium for football matches, and one without an athletics track.
Hertha’s stadium situation was again on the table as the club held its general meeting on Sunday. Hertha’s former stadium commissioner, Klaus Teichert, withdrew an application for a decision to be made on the location for a new stadium, with Brandenburg also put forward as a potential site.
However, Hertha is ploughing forward with plans for a new home in the Olympiapark, releasing two new renderings at Sunday’s meeting. Chief financial officer, Ingo Schiller, said: “We have entered into talks with the new government and are working hard to set the course for our new stadium in 2022. The stadium is the club’s most important project, especially in terms of the economic situation.”
However, much depends on political support for the project. Hertha’s intended stadium site currently includes residential apartments, with negotiations over the land having already stalled a number of times amid concerns from residents.
The Genossenschaft 1892 co-operative told local broadcaster rbb24: “You talk about, but not with us. We are still not prepared to sell our apartments in Sportforumstraße or to negotiate about them. It is very unfortunate that our residents in Sportforumstraße are once again unsettled by this uncoordinated approach.”
The club, and backers of the new stadium, are in talks with Berlin’s new sports senator, Iris Spranger, with fresh negotiations scheduled for February.
In January 2021, partners at German architecture firm GMP suggested that the Olympiastadion could become the ‘German Wembley’ if Hertha ends up leaving the historic venue. GMP oversaw the renovation of the Olympiastadion ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, where the stadium hosted numerous matches including the final.
Images: Hertha Berlin