Union Berlin plans home ground overhaul


Union Berlin will play in the Olympic Stadium in the future Image: Olympiastadion Berlin, Horst Schötzel, CC BY 3.0

The Bundesliga club Union Berlin wants to play in the Olympiastadion Berlin in the 2025-2026 seasons as the top-flight wants to redecorate its residence – Stadion An der Alten Försterei in Berlin (Germany).

‘kicker’ quoted Union President Dirk Zingler as stating, “I think Union Berlin will play the 2025-2026 seasons in the Olympiastadion Berlin. I think Union will play the Champions League games too at the Hertha BSC home ground in the coming season. We are seriously mulling on it and there is a Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) directive also to it. The Union has also played the 2021-2022 Conference League seasons in the Olympiastadion Berlin.”

The 1. FC Union Berlin or Union Berlin is a professional German football club based in Köpenick, Berlin (Germany). The club’s origins can be traced to 1906, when its predecessor FC Olympia Oberschöneweide was founded. They play in Bundesliga, the top of the German football league system.

The 22,012-capacity Stadion An der Alten Försterei is a football stadium in Köpenick and the largest single-purpose football stadium in the German capital of Berlin. It has been home to football club 1. FC Union Berlin and its forerunners since its opening in 1920. The stadium underwent a capacity expansion in the year 2013.

The Hertha BSC is a German professional football club based in the locality of Westend in the borough of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf of Berlin. The Hertha BSC plays in the 2. Bundesliga, the second tier of German football, following relegation from the Bundesliga in the 2022-2023 seasons. The Hertha BSC was founded in 1892.

The 74,475-capacity Olympiastadion is a sports stadium at Olympiapark Berlin in Berlin, Germany. It was originally built by Werner March (German architect) for the 1936 Summer Olympics. During the Olympics, the record attendance was thought to be over 100,000. Today, the stadium is part of the Olympiapark Berlin. It serves as the digs of Hertha BSC.

Nyon (Switzerland)-based the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is one of six continental bodies of governance in association football. It governs football, futsal and beach football in Europe and the transcontinental countries of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, and Kazakhstan, as well as some Asian countries such as Israel, Cyprus and Armenia. The UEFA consists of 55 national association members. Because of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the FIFA and UEFA suspended all Russian national teams and clubs from any FIFA and UEFA competitions.

The UEFA Europa Conference League is an annual football club competition organized by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) for eligible European football clubs. The clubs qualify for the competition based on their performance in their national leagues and cup competitions.

The 2023-2024 UEFA Europa Conference League seasons kicks off on July 13th, 2023 and runs until the final on May 29th, 2024.

‘kicker’ further stated that with a capacity of just over 22,000, the Stadion An der Alten Försterei is the smallest venue among all Bundesliga stadia. This is one of the reasons why the Union wants to refurbish and expand their home ground. The venue redevelopment project was submitted before the relevant authorities in 2017, but got delayed due to the global outbreak of COVID-19 in 2019 and the traffic plan did not cut ice with the concerned authorities. Last November, the Union submitted a fresh plan for the spruce-up of their home facility.

The first phase of extensive construction work is expected to start by June end. Apart from stadium expansion, a new training center, a multistory car park and a clubhouse is also part of the repurposing plans. If renovation works start as per plans, the Union will not be able to play at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei in the 2025-2026 seasons. They will have to play all major fixtures including the Champions League in Olympiastadion Berlin.

Concluded Zingler, “The Union Berlin wants to be away from their home ground for a short span of time. The club wants all makeover work to be completed before they return to their home venue. They do not want to relocate in frequent intervals to other stadiums. Once the arena undergoes capacity expansion, the Stadion An der Alten Försterei capacity will go up to circa 37,000. The reconfiguration work is scheduled to be completed in June 2026.”

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