Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf rejects proposed new Hertha stadium

German Bundesliga football club Hertha Berlin has suffered a fresh blow in its long-running efforts to draw up a future stadium pathway, after the district of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf rejected the proposed development of a new venue alongside the existing Olympiastadion.

In January, Hertha reiterated its intention to develop a new stadium adjacent to its current Olympiastadion home in the Olympiapark, releasing fresh renderings (pictured) of its vision for such a project.

The Olympiastadion and Olympiapark are located in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and the district office has now stated that it would be against the concept of having two major stadia on the same plot of land.

According to local broadcaster rbb, District Councillor responsible for sports, Heike Schmitt-Schmelz, confirmed the decision in a meeting of the sports committee of the district assembly yesterday (Tuesday) evening.

Schmitt-Schmelz cited a number of reasons including noise pollution, traffic concerns and the protection of the Olympiastadion as a historic building. The district is also concerned that a new stadium would mean the Olympiastadion could become a loss-maker for Berlin, without Hertha games.

“So far there have neither been applications from the club or a formal decision from the district office,” Schmitt-Schmelz told the Tagesspiegel newspaper.

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.

At January’s general meeting, 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.

Stefan Förster, sports policy spokesman for the FDP party in the Berlin House of Representatives, told the B.Z. newspaper today: “After a comprehensive examination, the responsible district of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf recognised that a new Hertha stadium at the Olympiapark location would not be of any use, but would bring with it a variety of problems in terms of noise, traffic and monument protection.”

Image: Hertha Berlin