Kurt-Wabbel-Stadion – until 2010
|35 000 (Capacity in 1936)|
|Other names||Kampfbahn der Stadt Halle (1936-1939), Horst-Wessel-Kampfbahn (1936-1944).|
|Construction||1921 - 1936|
|Renovations||1956, 1961, 1969, 1975|
|Address||Kantstrasse 1, 06110 Halle, Deutschland|
First it was one of the most important venues of central Germany for the Nazis, then for authorities of East Germany. And then it was… destroyed. Old terracing gave way to heavy machinery in Summer 2010, making the venue history. But it’s the kind of history one should know if interested in football and its temples.
Construction started in the beginning of 1920’s, but due to insufficient funding it ended with grand opening no sooner than in 1936. On August 22nd, on opening day, it could accommodate some 35,000 people with 3,000 of them seated. The early name of Kampfbahn der Stadt Halle was soon changed to Horst-Wessel-Kampfbahn, honouring , NSDAP member. Then after the WWII ended it was changed again, this time to Kurt-Wabbel-Stadion, in memory of local sportsman and communist activist.
Both for Nazis and Communists it was an important venue as its size made it an important part of building propaganda. East Germany played 5 international games here, starting with Poland in 1975, who were the only side to leave with a win. The Iceland, Scotland, Hungarians and Romanians were beaten or have drawn here. First game with artificial lighting was a friendly between HFC Chemie and Gornik Zabrze on October 5th 1969.
As time went by its splendor started to fade. No major revamps left it with rather low standard while other stadiums in Europe were getting better. That’s why in 2010 bulldozers came in. Of the old stadium only historical wall remained to save memories of the ground and it’s history.