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|Former names||Volksparkstadion (1953–2001)
AOL Arena (2001–2007)
HSH Nordbank Arena (2007–2010)
Imtech Arena (2010–2015)
|Location||Sylvesterallee 7, Bahrenfeld
22525 Hamburg, Germany
|Capacity||57,000 (League Matches),
51,500 (International Matches)
|Field size||105 × 68 m|
|Opened||12 July 1953|
|Renovated||1998 (new stadium)|
|Construction cost||€ 90–100 million
|Hamburger SV (1953–present)
Germany national football team (selected matches)
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 as Volksparkstadion (The People's Park Stadium), named after its location at Altona Volkspark (People's Park). 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 than 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 increasingly more difficult 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 Munich (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.
A large clock was added to the northwest corner in 2001 to commemorate HSV's status as the only club to have played continuously in the Bundesliga since its foundation. The clock marks the time, down to the second, since the league was founded on 24 August 1963.
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 six-year deal. From July 2010 the arena was called the Imtech Arena, after Imtech bought the naming rights. After Imtech's sponsorship ended in June 2015, the stadium reverted to its original name of Volksparkstadion. Due to UEFA regulations, when the stadium had a sponsored name it was referred to as the Hamburg Arena [ˈhambʊʁk ʔaˌʁeːnaː] for European matches.
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1974 FIFA 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.
UEFA Euro 1988
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:
|Date||Time (CET)||Team #1||Res.||Team #2||Round||Spectators|
|10 June 2006||21:00||Argentina||2–1||Ivory Coast||Group C||49,480|
|15 June 2006||15:00||Ecuador||3–0||Costa Rica||Group A||50,000|
|19 June 2006||18:00||Saudi Arabia||0–4||Ukraine||Group H||50,000|
|22 June 2006||16:00||Czech Republic||0–2||Italy||Group E||50,000|
|30 June 2006||21:00||Italy||3–0||Ukraine||Quarterfinals||50,000|
2010 UEFA Europa League Final
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.
The famous popstar Michael Jackson performed at the venue for the first time in his career in front of about 50,000 fans at 1 July 1988 as part of his Bad World Tour (1987–89) West German leg. At that time, the Spanish opera star Placido Domingo attended the concert and was welcomed by Jackson in the backstage. The singer returned to perform at the stadium in 10 August 1992, as part of his Dangerous World Tour (1992–93) German leg, in front of a new 50,000 fans crowd.
Depeche Mode performed at the stadium two times: the first one was on 1 July 2009 during their Tour of the Universe, in front of a crowd of 45,000 people. The second one was on 17 June 2013 during their Delta Machine Tour, in front of a sold out crowd of 44,128 people. The 2009 show was recorded for the group's live albums project Recording the Universe.
- Keh, Andrew. "Time and a Relentless Clock Weigh on Hamburg Soccer Team". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
- McCarra, Kevin (12 May 2010). "Atlético Madrid's Diego Forlán strikes to beat Fulham in Europa League". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
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|UEFA Europa League