Union Berlin to increase stadium capacity to 37,000 in announce €38mn facelift plan



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Union Berlin new stadium

German football club Union Berlin have announced plans to increase the capacity of their Alten Forsterei stadium from 22,012 to around 37,000 by 2020.

The €38 million reconstruction work, due to begin in 2019, will mean the stadium has a standing capacity of 28,692 – just short of the 29,400 at Borussia Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion.

Seating capacity, meanwhile, will be increased to more than 8,000 seats to meet German Football League requirements for top-flight football.

The reconstruction will keep the stadium, built in 1920, true to its existing style, with the three standing areas in the lower tier remaining in place. An upper tier will be built to accommodate more fans.

A new clubhouse will be ready by the spring of 2018, where a fan zone, food and beverage concessions and offices will be located.

Union want the Alten Forsterei, set in the woods of Kopenick, a Berlin suburb, to “keep its character and remain unique.”

In a statement on the club’s official website, president Dirk Zingler said: “It was important to us that this historic place for our club grows to meet future requirements. We want a tight stadium with standing terraces.”

The second-tier club narrowly missed out on promotion to the Bundesliga for the first time ever last season, finishing in fourth place.

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