Friday, October 22, 2021

All About Volksparkstadion

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The Volksparkstadion is a soccer stadium in Hamburg , which is located in the Altonaer Volkspark within the Altona district in the Bahrenfeld district and is the home ground of Hamburger SV . The stadium was opened in 1953 and converted into a football stadium between 1998 and 2000. In addition to football matches, concerts and other events take place in the stadium.

The Volksparkstadion is one of the UEFA category 4 stadiums and has 57,000 seats, of which 10,000 are standing, 3,620 business seats, 711 box seats and 120 are wheelchair-accessible. For international games where seating is mandatory, the folding seats hidden under the standing room are used, reducing the stadium’s capacity to 51,500 seats.

In addition to the home games of HSV, the stadium was the venue for the 1974 World Cup , the 1988 European Football Championship , the 2006 World Cup and the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League final .

The owner and operator of the stadium is HSV Fußball AG . The stadium changed its name several times from 2001. Initially, HSV was a pioneer in Germany in selling the rights to a name sponsor . In 2015, the stadium was given back its original name by investor Klaus-Michael Kühne , who acquired the rights until 2020, as the first Bundesliga venue to be named after a company.


History to 1998 

The first stadium in the Altonaer Volkspark was the Altonaer Stadion , whose buildings were designed by Gustav Oelsner . It was inaugurated on September 11, 1925 in front of a good 50,000 spectators; From 1927 international matches took place here, as well as the 1928 final for the German championship (HSV – Hertha BSC 5: 2).

The stadium was rebuilt between 1951 and 1953 and initially had a capacity of 76,000 seats. After the Bundesliga was founded in 1963, HSV left the sports field at Rothenbaum and from then on played its home games in the Volksparkstadion. For the 1974 World Cup , a covered grandstand was built on the back straight, reducing the capacity to 61,300 seats.


Reconstruction 1998-2000 

Until the renovation, the old concrete bowl was one of the most unpopular stadiums in Germany among football fans, because there was hardly any atmosphere in its wide area. The desire for an “own, pure football stadium” and the low attractiveness of the stadium led to the “arena project”. The renovation began on June 2, 1998 and lasted until the summer of 2000. The architect Manfred O. Steuerwald rebuilt the stadium “while the game was running”: the stands were relocated close to the field. The heated lawn was turned by 90 °, so that the west curve no longer exists. The north stand became the new home of the HSV fans.

In the course of the renovation in 1998, the stadium and the property were acquired for a symbolic mark by HSV from the possession of the city of Hamburg. The legal owner of the stadium is HSV-Stadion HSV-Vermögensverwaltungs GmbH & Co. KG . This in turn is held 99 percent by HSV Fußball AG and one percent in trust until 2020 by the marketer Sportfive , who provided a rental guarantee when the stadium was built . The stadium is operated by HSV-Arena GmbH & Co. KG .The cost of the renovation should be around 159 million DM (around 81.30 million euros). As the owner, HSV was solely responsible for the costs of the renovation, but there were public subsidies amounting to DM 21.3 million (around EUR 10.89 million). In September 2000, the CEO conceded Werner Hackmann one, that the costs would increase significantly. Because of the increase in costs, investor Andreas C. Wankum had to file for bankruptcy and give up his 20 percent stake in the stadium to HSV. 

The conversion required a special permit from the Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (Federal Aviation Office) because the construction is located in the main approach lane of runway 05/23 at Hamburg Airport and flying over crowds should be avoided if possible.

Conversion for the 2006 World Cup 

On the occasion of the soccer World Cup 2006 , 5.2 million euros were invested in the installation of an electronic access system, a new press center and higher security measures. The city of Hamburg supported the construction work with 2.4 million euros. It also financed the construction of two warm-up areas with covered stands next to the stadium with 800,000 euros. 

In the course of these measures, the HSV also built a new training center next to the stadium and in 2004 moved with its professional team from the training grounds at Ochsenzoll to the Volkspark.

Renovation 2009/2010

In April 2009, plans were announced according to which the stadium should be rebuilt for around 13 million euros by July 2010 and increased to a spectator capacity of 61,322 spectators. During the renovation work, the standing area of ​​the north stand was to be expanded by 3,000 seats and an additional business area with around 17 boxes was to be created in the south area of ​​the stadium. Another planned measure was the construction of a children’s and service world with 2,500 square meters directly at the stadium. At the beginning of the 2011/12 season, the construction work on the standing areas and in the VIP area should be completed.

In October 2009 the reconstruction plans were postponed due to financial and personnel bottlenecks and a decision was announced in spring 2010. 

In June 2010 it was announced that the renovation plans would be postponed for the time being and only block 22 C would be converted into a standing area. The capacity of the stadium remained unchanged because new toilets and escape routes would have had to be built to increase capacity. 

For the 2015/16 season, block 22 C was partially converted back into a seating block.

Conversion to EM 2024

For UEFA EURO 2024 are planned renovations for 30 million euros. In September 2020, the stadium property acquired for a D-Mark in the course of the stadium construction was sold to the city for 23.5 million euros, which in return granted heritable building rights until 2087. The ground rent is 1.8 percent, around 423,000 euros per year and around 28 million euros by 2087.

The roof 

The roof was planned by the engineering office Schlaich Bergermann und Partner and built by a consortium of companies from England, America and Berlin. The roof is a transparent coating made up of 40 fields, each with an area of ​​800 square meters.

Name change through sponsorship 

The converted Volksparkstadion was named AOL Arena on July 1, 2001 , for which AOL paid HSV 30 million DM (15.3 million euros). The contract was renewed in December 2005 until June of 2007.

For the period from July 2007, HSH Nordbank acquired the naming rights to the stadium. As a result, the stadium was renamed HSH Nordbank Arena on July 4, 2007 . This was the first time that the sponsor name of a stadium in the German Bundesliga changed. 

Due to the financial crisis, HSH Nordbank prematurely relinquished the naming rights, which were originally contractually agreed until 2013, in 2010. As of 1 July 2010 was Imtech the new title sponsor, accordingly, the stadium was called off the 2010/11 season at Imtech Arena . The agreement was concluded for a period of six years. 

On January 22, 2015, Klaus-Michael Kühne acquired the naming rights to the stadium for four years, which has been renamed Volksparkstadion again since July 1, 2015 – 14 years after the first renaming . This makes the Volksparkstadion the first Bundesliga stadium that has received its original name back after the naming rights were sold to a company. In April 2019, the agreement was extended for the 2019/20 season. After HSV missed promotion to the Bundesliga for the second time in a row in 4th place, Kühne no longer extended the contract. 

The stadium was popularly called the Workstation even during the name sponsorship.

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