Niedersachsenstadion (German pronunciation: [ˈniːdɐzaksn̩ˌʃtaːdi̯ɔn], lit. 'Lower Saxony Stadium') is a football stadium in Hanover, Lower Saxony, Germany, which is home to 2. Bundesliga football club Hannover 96.
|Former names||Niedersachsenstadion (1954–2002)|
|Operator||Hannover 96 Arena GmbH & Co. KG|
|Opened||26 September 1954|
|Construction cost||€ 82.8 million (for redevelopment)|
|Architect||Schulitz & Partner Architects|
|Hannover 96 (1959–present)|
TSV Havelse (2021–present)
Germany national football team (selected matches)
The original 86,000 capacity stadium was completed in 1954 and has since been rebuilt several times for various major football events. Today it has 49,000 covered seats. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup the stadium was named FIFA World Cup Stadium, Hanover.
Through a sponsorship deal, the stadium's official name is currently HDI-Arena [ˌhaːdeːˈʔiːʔaˌʁeːnaː]. Between 2002 and 2013 a similar arrangement saw the stadium renamed as the AWD-Arena [ˌʔaːveːˈdeːʔaˌʁeːnaː]. Starting in July 2022 it will be renamed Heinz von Heiden-Arena [haɪnts fɔn ˈhaɪdn̩ʔaˌʁeːnaː].
The stadium was built from 1952 to 1954, with an original capacity of 86,000. Huge amounts of debris from the houses in Hanover destroyed during World War II were used as the foundations of the stadium, with a total construction cost of 4 million Deutschmark. The stadium officially opened on 26 September 1954.
Hannover 96 moved permanently to the stadium from the Eilenriedestadion in 1959. Other local clubs, such as Arminia Hannover, OSV Hannover, TSV Havelse and Sportfreunde Ricklingen have also played matches there. In addition, the stadium has hosted numerous international matches, 4 (old) league championship games (in 1955, 1957, 1958 and 1961), 2 DFB-Supercup finals (in 1991 and 1992) and 8 DFB-Pokal finals (in 1962, 1963, 1965, 1970, 1972, 1975, 1977 and 1979).
From 2002 to 2013 the stadium carried the name of financial service provider AWD. Since 2013 it has been named after insurance company HDI. Starting in 2022, the naming rights will be held by construction company Heinz von Heiden.
On 17 November 2015, the stadium was due to host an international friendly between Germany and the Netherlands. However, the match was postponed two hours before kick off following reports of a "concrete security threat" and "intention to ignite explosives". The stadium and surrounding areas were evacuated, though no explosives were found.
International football tournamentsEdit
All times local (CEST)
1974 FIFA World CupEdit
The stadium was one of the nine venues chosen for (West) Germany's first hosting of the World Cup. This event saw the number of seats increase to 38,000, which entailed a decrease in the overall capacity to 60,400. In addition, the upper rank of the west grandstand was completely roofed. These alterations cost 26million DM. Newly modified, the arena featured in both the first and second group phase.
The following games were played at the stadium during the World Cup of 1974:
|Date||Time||Team 1||Result||Team 2||Round||Attendance|
|15 June 1974||16:00||Uruguay||0–2||Netherlands||Group 3||53,000|
|19 June 1974||19:30||1–1||Bulgaria||12,000|
|26 June 1974||19:30||Brazil||1–0||East Germany||Group A (2nd round)||58,463|
|30 June 1974||16:00||Argentina||1–2||Brazil||38,000|
1988 European ChampionshipEdit
When Germany hosted its second international tournament, the stadium was again chosen as a venue. By now, due to the conversion of 8,000 terrace spots into single seating, the capacity stood at 55,000. It hosted two group matches:
|11 June 1988||15:30||Denmark||2–3||Spain||Group A||60,366|
|15 June 1988||20:15||Republic of Ireland||1–1||Soviet Union||Group B||38,308|
2006 FIFA World CupEdit
The stadium was one of the venues for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. However, due to FIFA sponsorship contracts, the arena had to officially be called FIFA World Cup Stadium Hanover (German: FIFA WM Stadion Hannover) during the World Cup. The stadium also had to convert its standing areas into seating, thus reducing the capacity for the tournament to 43,000, before being converted back after the games.
The following games were played at the stadium during the World Cup of 2006:
|12 June 2006||21:00||Italy||2–0||Ghana||Group E||43,000|
|16 June 2006||21:00||Mexico||0–0||Angola||Group D||43,000|
|20 June 2006||16:00||Costa Rica||1–2||Poland||Group A||43,000|
|23 June 2006||21:00||Switzerland||2–0||South Korea||Group G||43,000|
|27 June 2006||21:00||Spain||1–3||France||Round of 16||43,000|
Although the stadium has seen many changes through the years, none were as extensive and impacting as the redevelopment of 2003/04 by Schulitz & Partner Architects, which cost €65 million.
There had been much controversy within the club's fanbase over suggestions of building a new football arena for many years before. Eventually this led to the decision to preserve and comprehensively redevelop the existing stadium in 1997/98. When Germany was somewhat unexpectedly awarded the hosting of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the major stadium work was finally put into action.
During 2003/04, major parts of the stadium were rebuilt and thus the maximum capacity was reduced to 49,951 (of which around 8,000 are standing spaces). Before 2003, the stadium had had high floodlight masts (referred to by locals as 'toothbrushes'), track and field facilities inclusive and about 60% was open plan. The redevelopments transformed it completely into a football arena and removed approximately 70% of the previous building. The roof and about 25% of the area at the outer edges of the west grandstand were demolished like the north, south and east grandstand.
Instead of the previous scoreboards, the arena gained two modern video boards and replaced the old floodlight masts with 160 modern single headlights, which were integrated into the roof structure, supplying a light density of 1500 lux.
The pitch, under which a high performance drainage system and a cabin ground heating system was installed, was moved closer to the spectators than ever. With the removal of the track and field facilities, the pitch was moved directly to the west grandstand and the remaining grandstands were then built around it. This necessitated the stands behind the goals be designed in such a way that the upward gradient becomes larger gradually from west to east, creating a rather peculiar asymmetry, as the original west grandstand possessed such small angles of inclination and the new east grandstand was as constructed as steeply as possible.
The new inner roof was constructed using ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) to allow sunlight through and thus allow the grass the grow naturally, whilst also protecting all spectators from bad weather . This care for the pitch helps avoid the constant need to re-lay it as in many other roofed stadiums and was designed by Hanke Loköter who helped construction the Allianz Arena as well.
The new business and corporate packages of the AWD-Arena are just like the press area in the east grandstand. There are approximately 1,250 business seats, 29 VIP boxes for 10–12 people and 96 press places.
Work on the stadium finished ahead of schedule in December 2004. The first football match held following the redevelopment was on 23 January 2005, where Hannover 96 lost 3–0 to Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga.
On 15 November 2009, the stadium was filled to capacity as the funeral site for 32-year-old Hannover 96 goalkeeper Robert Enke, who took his own life on 10 November 2009.
The stadium is one of few actual stadiums to be named on FIFA 12 when it was released of 28 September 2011.
Aside from football, the stadium was also the scene of several German athletics championships, the German Turnfest (a sports festival), field handball finals, concerts, rugby & American football.
Since the performances of The Rolling Stones & Queen in 1982, the stadium has developed into the leading open-air concert venue in Northern Germany. After the stadium underwent extensive redevelopment in 2003/04, the open air tradition was revived again with a concert by The Rolling Stones in the new arena. Madonna performed at the stadium during her Confessions Tour in August 2006 for an audience of 40,000. Other performers who held a concert at the venue include Michael Jackson in 1988 as part of his Bad World Tour, Bon Jovi in 1996 for his These Days Tour, Status Quo in 2006 and U2 in 2010 during their U2 360° Tour with total 56,494 audience and Kasabian as Support Act.
Artists with more than two concerts at the venue:
- "Das Stadion am Maschsee heißt ab dem 1. Juli Heinz-von-Heiden-Arena". sportbuzzer.de (in German). Sportbuzzer. 20 January 2022. Retrieved 20 January 2022.
- "Germany v Netherlands friendly called off after explosives threat". BBC Sport. 17 November 2015.
- "Bei Aufstieg: TSV Havelse spielt in der HDI-Arena, 96-Boss Kind kommt entgegen". sportbuzzer.de (in German). Sportbuzzer. 1 March 2021. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
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