Ernst-Happel-Stadion

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Ernst Happel Stadium
Ernst-Happel-Stadion
Former names Praterstadion (1931–92)
Location Meiereistraße 7,[1] Vienna, Austria
Coordinates 48°12′25.8″N 16°25′13.9″E / 48.207167°N 16.420528°E / 48.207167; 16.420528Coordinates: 48°12′25.8″N 16°25′13.9″E / 48.207167°N 16.420528°E / 48.207167; 16.420528
Owner City of Vienna
Operator Wiener Stadthalle Betriebs- und Veranstaltungsgesellschaft m.b.H.
Type UEFA Category 4 Stadium
Capacity 50,865[2] (end-stage)
68,500 (center-stage)
Record attendance 90,726 (Austria-Spain, 30 October 1960)
Field size 105 m × 68 m (344 ft × 223 ft)
Construction
Broke ground 1929
Built 1929-1931
Opened July 11, 1931
Renovated 1986
Architect Otto Ernst Schweizer
Tenants
Austrian national football team
Rapid Vienna (2013–2016)
Austria Vienna (2016–present)
2011 IFAF World Championship

The Ernst Happel Stadium (About this sound Ernst-Happel-Stadion ) (Praterstadion until 1992, sometimes also called Wiener Stadion) in Leopoldstadt, the 2nd district of Austria's capital Vienna, is the largest stadium in Austria. It was built between 1929 and 1931 for the second Workers' Olympiad to the design of German architect Otto Ernst Schweizer. The stadium was renamed in honour of Ernst Happel following his death in 1992. The stadium was host to seven games in UEFA Euro 2008, including the final which saw Spain triumph over Germany.

The stadium is owned by the City of Vienna (Municipal Department 51 - Sports of the City of Vienna). It is managed by the Wiener Stadthalle Betriebs und Veranstaltungsgesellschaft m.b.H., a subsidiary of Wien Holding.

History[edit]

1928-1945[edit]

The foundation stone was laid in November 1928 in honor of the 10-year celebration of the Republic of Austria. The stadium was constructed in 23 months, from 1929 to 1931. It was built according a design by the Tübingen architect Otto Ernst Schweizer and the second Workers' Olympiad. Schweizer also designed the adjacent Stadionbad (with 400,000 sq m, Europe's largest swimming pool). According to its location in Vienna's Prater, it was initially named Prater Stadium. It was a modern stadium at the time, particularly in Europe, because of its short discharge time of only 7 to 8 minutes. Initially the stadium had a capacity of approximately 60,000 people.

During the National Socialist Era (1938–1945) the stadium was used as a military barracks and staging area and as a temporary prison for the deportation of Jewish citizens.[3] Between September 11 and 13, 1939, after the attack on Poland, over a thousand Polish-born Viennese Jews were detained on the orders Reinhard Heydrich. They were imprisoned beneath the grandstands in the corridors of Section B. On September 30, 1,038 prisoners were deported to the Buchenwald concentration camp. The next day, the stadium was back to being used for a football match. 44 men were released in early 1940, 26 were freed in 1945, the rest were murdered in the camps. In 1988, one of the surviving victims, Fritz Klein, was awarded a compensation by the Austrian government equivalent to 62,50 euros for being detained in the stadium. In 2003 a memorial plaque, commemorating these events, was unveiled in the VIP area by a private initiative. In 1944, the stadium was severely damaged during a bomb attack on the Wehrmarcht Staff offices.

1945-2000[edit]

After the war and the reconstruction of the stadium, it was again sporting its original use. In 1956, the stadium's capacity was expanded to 92,708 people by Theodor Schull, but in 1965 the capacity was reduced. The attendance record was 91,000[citation needed] spectators set on October 30, 1960 at the football match between Spain and Austria (0-3).

In the mid-1980s, the stands were covered and fully equipped with seats. At its reopening a friendly match against archrivals Germany was organised. Austria won the match 4-1. After the death of former Austrian top player and coach Ernst Happel, the Prater Stadium was renamed after him in 1992.

A qualifier match between Austria and Germany in 2011

In 1964, 1987, 1990, and 1995, the Ernst Happel Stadium was the venue of the European Cup/UEFA Champions League final.

In 1970, the stadium was the venue of the 1970 European Cup Winners' Cup Final which saw Manchester City F.C. squeeze past Górnik Zabrze. This final was played under heavy rain, which restricted the attendance for the event to 7,968.

UEFA Euro 2008[edit]

During the UEFA Euro 2008 tournament, the Ernst Happel Stadium was the venue for the Final match. Previously, the three group matches of the Austrian National Team, two quarter finals and a semifinal match took place in the stadium. In preparation for the tournament, the first and second place additional rows of seats increased the stadium's capacity to 53,000 seats.

Leading up to the tournament, it was fitted with a heated pitch in the summer of 2005. In May 2008, a connection to the Vienna U-Bahn was established, easing access from all over the city. The cost of the rebuilding was 39,600,000.

Stadium opening match in the Euro 2008 between Austria and Croatia

The following games were played at the stadium during the UEFA Euro 2008:

Date Time (CET) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Spectators
8 June 2008 18.00  Austria 01  Croatia Group B 51,428
12 June 2008 20.45  Austria 11  Poland Group B 51,428
16 June 2008 20.45  Austria 01  Germany Group B 51,428
20 June 2008 20.45  Croatia 11 aet
(1 – 3 pen.)
 Turkey Quarter-finals 51,428
22 June 2008 20.45  Spain 00 aet
(4 – 2 pen.)
 Italy Quarter-finals 48,000
26 June 2008 20.45  Russia 03  Spain Semi-final 51,428
29 June 2008 20.45  Germany 01  Spain Final 51,428

Football[edit]

Inside View Happel-Stadion

The Ernst Happel Stadium is the largest football stadium in Austria. It is the home of the Austrian national football team. Club football matches are generally limited to the domestic cup final and international competitions featuring one of Vienna's top clubs, FK Austria Wien and SK Rapid Wien, as their regular stadiums are too small to host UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup matches. Vienna derby matches between FK Austria and SK Rapid have also been played in the stadium.

The stadium is rated one of UEFA's Five Star Stadiums permitting it to host the UEFA Champions League final. The seating capacity was temporarily expanded to 53,008[4] for the UEFA Euro 2008 championship, with the final played in the stadium. The stadium also hosted 3 group games, 2 quarter-final matches, a semi-final and final. The attendance record of 92,706 for the match against the Soviet Union was in 1960.[5] The capacity has since been reduced.

Notable matches held in the stadium[edit]

Other sports[edit]

Other sporting events are held in the stadium, including athletics, cycling and tennis. In 1950, 35,000[6] watched Austrian Josef Weidinger win the European Heavyweight crown against Stefan Olek (of France), and a temporary pool in the stadium was the venue for the 1995 European LC Championships.

On July 16, 2011, the American Football World Championship final took place where USA defeated rivals Canada with a score of 50-7 in front of 20,000 spectators.

In June 6 and 7, 2014, the three game of the final stage of the 13th European Championship of American Football took place in this stadium.

Panorama[edit]

Concerts[edit]

The stadium has hosted concerts by many famous artists, including Madonna, Michael Jackson, AC/DC, Metallica, Bon Jovi, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Guns N' Roses, Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, The Three Tenors, Tina Turner, U2, Coldplay, Robbie Williams, One Direction and among others.

References[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Wembley Stadium
London
European Cup
Final Venue

1964
Succeeded by
San Siro
Milan
Preceded by
St. Jakob Stadium
Basel
UEFA Cup Winners Cup
Final Venue

1970
Succeeded by
Karaiskakis Stadium
Piraeus
Preceded by
Sánchez Pizjuán
Seville
European Cup
Final Venue

1987
Succeeded by
Neckarstadion
Stuttgart
Preceded by
Camp Nou
Barcelona
European Cup
Final Venue

1990
Succeeded by
Stadio San Nicola
Bari
Preceded by
Olympic Stadium
Athens
UEFA Champions League
Final Venue

1995
Succeeded by
Stadio Olimpico
Rome
Preceded by
Estádio da Luz
Lisbon
UEFA European Football Championship
Final Venue

2008
Succeeded by
Olimpiysky National Sports Complex
Kiev
Preceded by
Todoroki Athletics Stadium
Kawasaki
IFAF World Championship
Final Venue

2011
Succeeded by
Tele2 Arena
Stockholm