La Bombonera the inspiration for Hertha Berlin’s new stadium vision

German Bundesliga football club Hertha Berlin has presented its initial vision for a new 45,000-seat stadium located near to its current home, the Olympiastadion.

Hertha’s presentation to the sports committee of the Berlin House of Representatives represents its first public move on the new vision for a stadium which emerged earlier this year. In April, Hertha reacted positively to a proposal from Iris Spranger, Senator for the Interior, Digitisation and Sport of the State of Berlin, to house a new stadium at a different site within the Olympiapark.

Spranger proposed a plot of land north of the historic Maifeld open-air venue as a means to resolve Hertha’s long-running efforts to secure a more intimate stadium when compared to the Olympiastadion (pictured).

According to local reports, Hertha has presented stadium plans inspired by Estadio Alberto José Armando, the home of Argentine Primera División club Boca Juniors more commonly known as La Bombonera.

The facility, given the working title of Stadion auf dem Lindeneck, has Boca as its inspiration due to the need to develop within a tight plot of land. Therefore, the stadium will feature stands with steep inclines, with 17,000 of the 45,000-capacity taken up by standing areas. With this in mind, capacity would reduce to 36,500 for international games.

Local broadcaster rbb said the south side of the stadium will be lower in height and equipped with a giant video wall pointing in the direction of Maifeld, which is proposed to be opened up under the label of ‘Myfield’ to enable public viewing and other events.

The club has commissioned German architects Albert Speer + Partner to undertake further planning, while it has also engaged respected urban planner Engelbert Lütke Daldrup in an advisory capacity. Daldrup helped deliver Berlin’s new BER airport in October 2020 after the project suffered long delays.

The new stadium project is expected to cost €250m (£216.9m/$262m), with Hertha seeking to finance the venture itself. During the meeting, Spranger said she would convene a steering and project group that she would lead. This is expected to be established in Parliament after the summer recess.

In January, Hertha reiterated its intention to develop a new stadium adjacent to the Olympiastadion 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. Under the new proposals it is envisioned that Hertha could still play high-profile matches at the Olympiastadion, for which it currently pays €7.5m per year as a tenancy fee.

Commenting on the stadium presentation, Hertha Berlin managing director, Ingo Schiller, said in a club statement: “This was a very good and goal-oriented meeting. Our sincere thanks to the Members of Parliament and Senator Iris Spranger. Now it is important to continue on this path constructively and together with everyone involved and affected.”

Image: Matthias Süßen/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size