Olympiastadion Berlin isn't the only football ground in Berlin worth visiting

Josip Brajkovic
Josip Brajkovic
Published: 6. lipnja 2023.


Third in the land, by far largest in the capital city, yet Olympiastadion Berlin isn't lonely in the neighbourhood. The biggest urban area in Germany has quite a lot of grounds. Yet all are so different to the most well-known Olympiastadion Berlin. In a way making it more unique, even if their most common inhabitants would hate to look at it that way. Especially the ones from the first one.

Stadion An der Alten Försterei

Alte Försterei
By Arne Müseler / www.arne-mueseler.com, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, Link

Club: Union Berlin
Capacity: 22,012 people
Built: 1920

Arguably the stadium with the most fairytale-like name, not just in Germany, but overall. The Stadium at the Old Forester's House is the largest single-purpose football stadium in the capital with 22,012 spots for the viewers. If you are to visit just one more stadium in Berlin, let it be this one. Just make sure you don't have any Hertha markings on you, as the Union Berlin boys aren't too fond of their more known rivals.

Exactly 23 kilometres away from the Olympiastadion Berlin, and near to the Spree river, Union's stadium also lives up to the name as it is located on the edge of a forest. In the south-east of the city, it was renovated three times, in 1955, 2000, and 2009. Also, it was expanded three times in 1970, 1983, and 2013.

The Stadium at the Old Forester's House is a stark contrast to the imperial Olympiastadion Berlin, now even unwanted by Hertha's supporters, as it's last renovation was a collective grassroots effort. The fans bought shares of the company that will hold some rights to the stadium to raise an additional €2.7 million for the job. While 2,300 supporters volunteered for the actual construction work.

While it does sound fairytale-like, the ground looks like a Championship or even a Ligue 1 ground more than anything. With sharp lines in the terraces and space between the roof and the viewing area, as well as missing corners.

Although it has a charming story to it, Union Berlin can’t play European games on their ground as it doesn’t reach UEFA’s standards. Hence, Olympiastadion Berlin will be their provisionary home in the Champions League. All while Hertha is in the second league.

Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Stadion

Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark
By Mauerpark - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Clubs: VSG Altglienicke
Built: 1952
Capacity: 19,708 people

Hosting multiple clubs throughout the years, the multi-purpose stadium is the third-largest in Berlin, hosting 19,708 now. Like the Olympiastadion Berlin, the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Stadion has track and field rings around it. The ground is home to the VSG Altglienicke, a side in the fourth tier of the German football pyramid. While the American football side Berlin Thunder also plays here.

While one might think that it is named after three individuals, it's just one, the 17th-century-born gymnastics educator and nationalist Friedrich Ludwig Jahn. The stadium bearing his name looks like a very '80s ground even though it was last renovated in 2015 and in 1998 before that. And despite having modern-looking light poles. With 15,000 seats covered by the roofing.

Fußballplatz Sportforum Berlin

Sportforum Berlin 2.JPG
By Lexabot; (Axel Schudy) - de.wikipedia.org: 00:50, 22. Nov. 2006 .. Lexabot; .. 2592×1944 (2.271.250 Bytes) (Sportforum Hohenschönhausen), Public Domain, Link

Capacity: 12,400 people
Club: Berliner FC Dynamo
Built: 1954

Berlin loves its multi-purpose sports complexes. Another common trait between the grounds is that they are all located near forests. The Sportforum Hohenschönhausen is located in the north-east and has multiple fields, as well as an ice ring and an arena for indoor sports. Yet the biggest ground is the Fußballplatz Sportforum Berlin.

While the stadiums are common in Germany, they haven't really nailed naming them. Fußballplatz just means 'football place'. But what will interest the football fanatics is that it's a real blast from the past, having standing areas with old-school ramps to prevent crowding. Only 2,000 places on the main stand are for seating. Just 400 of those are covered with the roof.

Berliner FC Dynamo plays on this stadium and competes in the fourth tier and as their home doesn't meat the FA's standards for the third league, the plan is for the complete redevelopment of the area. So hurry up.

While Germany’s capital has a lot of other grounds, they are not either architecturally or footballing interesting to the neutrals. This means the once-potential demolition of the Olympiastadion Berlin would’ve been a real crime.




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