Top-flight German soccer side Hertha Berlin have confirmed plans to move from the Olympiastadion to a privately-funded stadium by 2025.
After studying more than 50 locations both in and outside the German capital the Bundesliga club have set their sights on building a privately-funded 55,000-capacity stadium next to their existing home in the Olympiapark.
Hertha have played at the Olympiastadion – originally built for the 1936 Olympic Games and renovated in 2004 – since 1963, but have long struggled to fill the 74,475-seater venue. Their average attendance this season of 50,000 shows the club are utilising just 64 per cent of their current home in comparison to the league average of 92 per cent.
With Hertha’s lease at the Olympiastadion is set to expire in 2025, the club see it as an opportunity to move into a smaller stadium that is more financially viable and better suits the size of their fanbase.
“In the Bundesliga world, which represents 95 per cent of our matchday operations, the stadium is no longer sustainable and suitable in the long run,” said Hertha President Werner Gegenbauer. “As a team and a medium-sized company, we do not want to carry the drawbacks of an ageing stadium that is too big.”
While Hertha would prefer to remain in the Olympiapark, the club have identified Brandenburg Park in Ludwigsfelde as an alternative option.
“Hertha BSC strongly believes, the Berlin federal government knows the necessity of a new stadium,” added Gegenbauer. “Hertha should not be deprived of a future, just because a solution could not be found for a large, listed stadium the club does not even own. The clear favourite is the Olympiapark, with its best and already present infrastructure.”
Hertha will now calculate the estimated cost of the project based on the proposed stadium site before discussing the plans with local authorities and politicians.