April 3 – Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin are planning a move away from the Olympiastadion where they have played since 1963, to a new 55,000 seat arena that would ideally be situated right next door to its current stadium.
Hertha’s lease on the Olypiastadion runs out in 2025 and the club feels that it needs to move to a more modern and football-specific arena.
“For the Bundesliga day, which accounts for 95 percent of our game business, the Olympiastadion is no longer suitable and future-oriented. As a club and medium-sized company, we cannot bear the disadvantage of a much too great and ageing Olympiastadion, which does not belong to us,” said Hertha president Werner Gegenbauer.
The new stadium would be “100% privately financed and without a monument-protected building affected,” continued Gegenbauer. While the Olympiapark is the club’s preferred location to build, the club has looked at a number of other potential venues and has already agreed an alternative locations with the the Brandenburg Park in Ludwigsfelde, which is 18 minutes by train from Potsdamer Platz.
The new stadium would do away with the running track of the Olympiadstadion and have the stands much closer to the pitch making the experience for fans “steep, close and loud”.
The principal reason to move is economic with the club wanting to take advantage of the greater marketing opportunities a new and modern stadium provides.
Currently its match day occupancy rate at the Olympiastadion is 64% which it says is inefficient. While the club recognises the value of the Olympiastadion for international matches, with its own average gate of 50,000, the Olympiastadion is simply too large.
The final decision on building consent will be taken by the Berlin Senate.
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