|This article does not cite any references or sources. (June 2010)|
|Owner||State of Berlin|
|Record attendance||30,000 (East Germany-Belgium, 13 Mars 1974)|
|Field size||110 × 72|
|Opened||1 October 1952|
|Renovated||1964, 1970, 1986/1987, 1998|
SV Emperor Berlin,
1965, 1990, 1991 FDGB Pokal Final,
2002, 2003 ISTAF Berlin,
1965-2006, 2008- Berliner Landespokal Final,
German Junior Bowl XXIX,
German Bowl XXXIV,
German Bowl XXXV,
2015 UEFA Women's Champions League Final
The Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark is a sports site in the Prenzlauer Berg district of Berlin. It is bordered on the south by Eberswalder Straße, on the north by the Max Schmeling Halle, on the west by Mauerpark, where part of the Berlin Wall once stood. It includes a football and athletics stadium as well as several smaller sports fields. The stadium is the second largest in the city after Berlin's Olympiastadion with 20,000 seats (15,000 covered) and has temporarily been used by various Berlin football sides.
Since 1825, the area was used as the drill grounds of the Guard Regiment of the Prussian army. Some housing was constructed on the site late in the 19th century, but this was a short-lived use and the area soon became an open space used for sports. Between 1892 and 1904, the site served as the ground of Hertha BSC. The city of Berlin purchased the land in 1912 and developed it for sports use in 1913.
After World War II and the division of the capital city, the area was part of what became East Berlin, in the Soviet zone of occupation. A football and athletics stadium, with a capacity of 30,000 spectators, was built on the site in 1951, for use during the World Youth Festival that year. Known initially as Berliner Sportpark, East German municipal officials renamed the facility the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark the following year, to honour the centenary of the birth of the man known in Germany as the father of gymnastics. The stadium was refurbished in 1988 and its capacity reduced to the present-day number.
Use of the site
From 1963 to 1989, the facility hosted the Olympic Day of Athletics competition, modeled on a similar event staged each year in West Berlin. The meet saw the setting of several world records, including Uwe Hohn's record javelin throw of 104.80 meters on 20 July 1984 – the first time a throw of over 100 meters was made.
East German first division club Berliner FC Dynamo played its DDR-Oberliga home fixtures here. The wine-reds celebrated nine of its ten consecutive championships (1979 through 1988) in the stadium, except for the 1986/87 season when the stadium was under reconstruction. In the 1970s and 1980 BFC hosted teams such as Aston Villa, Hamburger SV, AS Roma, Werder Bremen and Girondins Bordeaux for its European Cup matches in the stadium.
The national side played ten international matches at the stadium between 1951 and 1990, including its 13 March 1974 contest versus Belgium, which ended with a 5–2 victory in front of a record 30,000 spectators.
The stadium was used by the Berlin Thunder of the NFL Europe during 1999-2002. The amateur side of Hertha BSC (Hertha BSC II) also use the facility, when they expect an unusually large crowd or where there are security concerns related to a match. The final of the Berlin Cup is also held here each season.
The facility also serves as a concert venue and has welcomed performers such as Michael Jackson.
The stadium is considered to be in a state of decay, satisfying neither current needs nor future plans. In order to host the 2015 UEFA Women's Champions League final, the stadium will be temporary renovated at an estimated cost of 1,5 - 2 million Euros. This temporary renovation includes new paintings, refurbished player and visitor facilities, a new fire alarm system and a new lawn. This is however only the beginning. From 2016, the whole area is planned to be entirely redeveloped at an estimated cost of 30 - 40 million Euros.
The area is highly popular and the needs for sporting facilities in Berlin are many. Even when the stadium is empty, the area around is crowded. The neighboring Mauerpark is popular among the citizens of Berlin. Its flea market attracts more than 40,000 visitors each Sunday. The population pressure of Prenzlauer Berg is also high, with Pankow having the highest birth rate in Berlin. In preparation for the plans, more than 40 users of sport facilities in Berlin have been interviewed.
Being the second largest stadium in the city, in terms of seating capacity, and with the Olympic Stadium often considered too large, the stadium also plays a crucial role for the possibility of arranging major sports events in Berlin. A redeveloped stadium could be included in Berlin's hosting of the 2018 European Athletics Championships and would fit in Germany's bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics or 2028 Summer Olympics.
According to a preliminary draft concept, the redeveloped Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark is to be an inclusion sports facility, which goes beyond simple accessibility. The plan includes new office spaces for associations and clubs in the grandstand of the stadium and in new buildings, and possibly a new sports hall for clubs and schools with two or three pitches, one ore two artificial turf fields, additional tennis, beach volleyball and beach football fields. Further plans includes a day care center and a car park that could possibly also serve the popular Max-Schmeling-Halle. Whether or not the current stadium is to be demolished and reconstructed remains unclear at present, although a reconstruction seems the most economical alternative.
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