Hertha’s new stadium? Will Olympiastadion Berlin be replaced?

Josip Brajkovic
Josip Brajkovic
Published: 6.6.2023.

Olympiastadion Berlin

While it's far from bad for the UEFA, as it is hosting the European Championship Final in 2024, the club calling Olympiastadion Berlin home since 1963 is looking to find a replacement. Even going as far being ready to place their home right next to the current ground! Without the destruction of the Olympiastadion, just two massive stadiums 200 metres from each other with nothing but stone cold courtyard between them.

And that's not even the craziest thing about the idea of Hertha Berlin's new stadium.

Olympiastadion Berlin - an unwanted masterpiece

Even though it's one of Europe's most recognizable and imposing stadiums, it's not the first time Olympiastadion Berlin was less than desired. In the 1990s, after the reunification of Germany, some political figures called for a dismantling of the stadium due to its past. The history of the stadium is connected to the Nazi party and it was built under their watchful eye, with the imperial-like architecture a clear reminder of the fact.

Yet cooler minds prevailed and the monument of sports and architecture remained. However, Hertha Berlin has different issues with it.

Hertha's problems with Olympiastadion Berlin

Not only is Olympiastadion Berlin one of the most distinguishable stadiums in the world - unmistakable from other grounds even if you're just browsing through TV channels - but it's also a massive arena. In a massive city.

Not to mention that the continent's most important yearly game - the Champions League final, was also played in the stadium previously. In 2015, Barcelona defeated Juventus at the Olympiastadion Berlin with the final score 3:1.

Rafael Benitez and Danilo
JUNE 6, 2015 - UEFA Champions League Final between Juventus Torino and FC Barcelona at Olympiastadion.

As Olympiastadion Berlin isn't owned by Hertha, they are renting the grounds and their lease is up in 2025.

One of Hertha's qualms with the ground is that it's far too big of a stadium for their needs. A capacity of 74,475 is third in the Bundesliga, behind Westfalen and the Allianz Arena. Yet, unlike in these two bigger football club homes, an extra ticket isn't a luxury commodity in Berlin as it is in Dortmund and Munich.

For the 2022/2023 season, the club's average home attendance was 53,652 people! That is 28% of stadium capacity staying unused!

While Hertha is still ranked fourth in the Bundesliga when looking at average attendance, they are beaten by BVB, Bayern Munich, naturally, but also Schalke. While the Bundesliga-returning Miners have an arena with 12,000 fewer seats!

Not to forget that Berlin is massive, with 3,677,000 people in its urban area and even over six million in its metro area! With the Olympiastadion Berlin quite well connected via the subway and suburb-based rail lines.

The other major problem for Hertha is the athletics tracks around the pitch, as in all Olympic stadiums, which most people find as a deterrent to the atmosphere.

After all, Hertha is the last Bundesliga team without a single-purpose football stadium. While also being one of the three remaining German top-flight teams that don't have a sponsor-named ground. A point of pride for the fans usually, but always a sore spot for the accountants.

While the problem is that Hertha Berlin is not the owner of the Olympia Stadium, they are just renting it out. With the contract running out in 2025.

Even though the relationship with the Olympiastadion Berlin started in 1963, since then Hertha did play in the Poststadion for several seasons due to a lack of interest in the late 1980s. While also hosting games in the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark stadium in the '90s.

Hertha’s new stadium - was it ever realistic?

The initial idea was for Hertha Berlin to pay for the renovation of the Olympiastadion Berlin. Removing the running tracks to make the atmosphere more intimate. While suggesting that the track and field rings could be reinstalled temporarily for major athletics events.

Yet, they found stark resistance from the people representing the track and field community. Even though, with modern technical capabilities, the retractable and multi-layered pitches like in the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, it seems that it was a reasonable suggestion by the Berliners.

This option was abandoned and Hertha then sought to build a new stadium. On the same lot the current one is located. As the stadium is built within a broader sports area known as the Olympiapark, there were strong currents in German politics that had an issue with a new modern stadium tarnishing the entire look of the area. Which is quite historic and the elements are in tune with each other.

Some fans are strongly supporting the move and have created the Blue and White Stadium group to push the narrative for it. Trying to pressure the local decision-makers that a new stadium is a necessity.
A 55,000-seater arena was always planned, although the club hasn’t proposed an accurate architectural solution for it.

Hence, Hertha is now looking at different areas of the city to plant their new home. Besides the Brandenburg Park location in the south, two places are mentioned as potential new locations. The Festplatz (fairground) and the Tegel Airport, both quite near each other and in the very north of Berlin.

Due to the lease running out in 2025, there was a rush to conclude the business and Hertha's new stadium should've been finished by then.

Yet with the result crisis culminating in Hertha Berlin getting relegated from the Bundesliga, it seems safe to say that the new stadium isn't at the forefront of everyone's mind. Although playing in the second tier is going to make the massive ground seem even more unfitting. The Old Lady of German football is even in question as a participant of the 2. Bundesliga for the 2023/2024 season as the clubs in Germany need to provide financial assurances that they are capable of playing it. Which is now in doubt.

All after the club was injected with cash, €374,000,000 since 2019. Yet in 2023 the ownership of the club has changed again. Yet even that is under scrutiny by the German FA.

Meaning that the possibility of Hertha's new stadium is still shrouded in mist and the Olympiastadion Berlin remains their ground for the time being and probably past 2025.



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