AOL Arena

Volksparkstadion is a football stadium in Hamburg, Germany. It is the home ground of Hamburger SV and was one of the 12 stadia used in the 2006 Football World Cup, hosting four group games and a quarter final. Through a sponsorship deal the stadium is officially named Imtech Arena, and has previously been called the AOL Arena and HSH Nordbank Arena for similar reasons. Due to UEFA regulations on stadium sponsorship, the stadium is referred to as the Hamburg Arena for European matches.

History

HSV actually have nothing to do with the origins of the stadium, even though they own the current arena. Before the club moved to the current site they played at Sportplatz at Rothenbaum. Bahrenfelder Stadion was the first stadium to be built on the site of the Volksparkstadion and the AOL Arena. It was inaugurated on 13 September 1925 with a match between FC Altona 93 and HSV. In front a crowd of 25,000, HSV lost 2-3. At the time the stadium was also known as Altonaer Stadion, however it was not the home ground of FC Altona 93 (it was Adolf-Jäger-Kampfbahn). Altona was a large club of Germany that has long been surpassed by HSV.

After a long break the stadium was finally renovated. Between 1951 and 1953 the stadium was rebuilt. On 12 July the stadium was opened under its new name Volksparkstadion (The People's Park Stadium). Most of the building materials came from the ruins of Eimsbüttel, a district of Hamburg destroyed under Allied bombing. The new stadium could hold up to 75,000 and continued to be used for the various sporting events of the city.

In 1963, when HSV qualified for the newly created Bundesliga, they moved into the Volksparkstadion, a stadium that was both larger and more modern then Rothenbaum. At this time, FC Altona missed out on the opportunity and has struggled ever since. HSV then began to see some success in the Bundesliga and managed to maintain their status for years to come. HSV won titles in 1979, 1982 and 1983.

In May 1998 HSV decided to replace the unpopular Volksparkstadion with a brand new stadium, not only to help Germany get ready to host the Football World Cup, but also because it was getting harder and harder to meet the safety standards with such an old facility. The old stadium was totally demolished and the new arena was rotated 90° to provide an equal viewing experience for all the stands and to take advantage of sunlight. The estimated cost of the new stadium was €90-100 million. The new arena serves both as a football ground and a concert hall. The capacity of the stadium during club matches is 57,000, which is reduced to 51,500 during international matches when the standing sections in the north grandstand are converted into seated areas. The record attendance was attained in Hamburger SV's victory over Bayern München (1-0) on 30 January 2009, when 57,000 paying spectators were counted.

The building permit for the new arena was issued on 30 April 1998. The new stadium removed the track and field facilities that increased the distance between the pitch and the stands. The stadium was inaugurated in 2000 when Germany played Greece; the home team won 2-0. With the new stadium, HSV has managed to attain an average attendance of 50,000. In 2004 a museum dedicated to the history of HSV was opened.

The stadium is a UEFA Elite stadium which makes it eligible it to host UEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League finals.

In 2001 AOL bought the naming rights to the Volksparkstadion for €15.3 million, retitling the ground as the AOL Arena. In March 2007 the HSH Nordbank bought the naming rights for €25 million, and the stadium was rebranded as the "HSH Nordbank Arena" in a 6 year deal. From July 2010 the arena will be called the "Imtech Arena", after Imtech bought the naming rights.

Tournaments hosted
1974 World Cup

The 1974 FIFA World Cup was held in West Germany and the Volksparkstadion was one of the stadiums used in the tournament. In combination with the 1936 Berlin Olympic Stadium the two stadiums held all of the Group A games of the first phase. Three of those were played at the Volksparkstadion. The first game played was the match between East Germany and Australia where attendance dipped to a low of only 17,000. The next game, with the home side West Germany playing Australia, saw a bounceback with 53,300 in attendance. The attendance grew even more for the next match to 60,200 as home side West Germany played neighbouring East Germany. East Germany won the close game 1-0 with an 80th-minute goal.

Euro 88

In 1988 the European Football Championship came to West Germany. The Volksparkstadion was chosen to be one of the host stadia. At the time the stadium could hold 61,200 spectators. The only game of the tournament that was played at the stadium was a semi-final that saw hosts West Germany go down to the Netherlands 1-2.

2006 FIFA World Cup

The stadium was one of the venues for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. However, due to sponsorship contracts, the arena was known as FIFA World Cup Stadium Hamburg during the World Cup.

The following games were played at the stadium during the World Cup of 2006:

2010 UEFA Europa League Final

The stadium hosted the 2010 UEFA Europa League Final, in which Spanish side Atlético Madrid beat English club Fulham 2–1.

Transport

The stadium's nearest railway station is Stellingen railway station. The station is on the S3 & S21 lines of the Hamburg S-Bahn and is also served from Schleswig-Holstein in the north by AKN railways. A free bus shuttle service is provided during football matches or other major events from the station to the stadium. There are several large car parks around the stadium. The A7 runs close by and the stadium can be reached via the exit Stellingen.

Other use

The stadium hosted the heavyweight unification boxing match between Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye on 2 July 2011. Klitschko won by unanimous decision.

Building Activity

  • removed a media
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com