The Berliners' new venue is to be located near the Olympic Stadium where they play their matches as of today and would have a capacity of 45,000 spectators. This number would include 17,000 standing places. The most interesting feature of the new facility, however, would be its shape.
There have been 55 locations under consideration
Hertha BSC has been waiting for a long time to move out of the huge Olympiastadion, for which it pays €7.5 million a year as a tenant, and would prefer to invest the money in its own stadium. Talks have been going on for years; in total, as many as 55 (!) locations for a new venue were considered. In the end, however, it was decided that Hertha would remain at the Olympic grounds and have their new stadium right next to the 1936 Games arena.
The two-time Bundesliga champion has just unveiled details of its plans for a new stadium at the Olympic Park. Initially, the club planned to build a new arena with a capacity of 55,000 spectators. However, it was decided that Hertha's new stadium would be slightly smaller. Its capacity is now going to be 45,000.
Interestingly, this is the number of seats provided for international matches. For domestic matches, as it turns out, the venue would only have a capacity of 36,500 seats. In addition, as many as 17,000 seats at the new venue would be standing, a nod to the most passionate fans who prefer to experience football shows standing, rather than sitting.
La Bombonera, or rather Die Bombenlegerin in Berlin
The most distinctive feature of Hertha's stadium, however, would not be its variable capacity, but its shape. It would not be oval or square like the vast majority of football arenas found in Europe. Its shape would be modelled on the famous "La Bombonera" in Buenos Aires, where Boca Juniors play their matches.
It would therefore have three interconnected grandstands forming one, compact shape and one steep, separate stand that would close the shape of the entire structure on the south side. It would thus look just like the legendary arena from Argentina. A large part of the external façade of this specific single stand would be a huge screen. The pitch next to it could be used as an auditorium to watch matches there.
© Javier Garcia Martino, Departamento de Prensa de Boca Juniors
Why such an idea for the shape of the stadium? It is enforced by the location. Hertha wants to build its facility next to the Olympic Stadium, in the Olympic Park, which hosted the 1936 Games. However, it is a historic site and there is not enough space to fit a new oval venue there. Hertha BSC's CFO Ingo Schiller explains it this way:
We model our plans on the La Bombonera venue, which is located in the middle of a residential area of Buenos Aires and has been structurally adapted to its surroundings. Our stadium would look similar.
For international matches, the capacity of the new stadium would drop to 36,000 fans, as only seating is allowed in such circumstances. However, there are ideas for Hertha to play their more important matches at Olympiastadion. Another issue that needs to be resolved would be the noise. This is one of the main problems around the Olympic Stadium, where Hertha has been playing for almost 60 years. It is not just the neighbourhood to the south, but also the quiet residential area to the north, in Ruhleben.