Euro 2024: Volksparkstadion renovation to begin later this year
source: StadiumDB.com; author: Maciej Ścibła
We already know all the facilities that will host the upcoming European Championships in 2024. Some of the ten venues selected by UEFA will have to undergo renovation to adapt them to the current requirements. Among them is the largest stadium in Hamburg.
Hosting the FIFA World Cup as a reward for building fast
It may seem that Volksparkstadion is a very old building that is almost 70 years old and remembers the time of the greatest triumphs of the Hamburger SV team. This is a wrong impression, because the arena, which has the exact same name, was almost completely demolished in 1998 and replaced by the construction we know to this day. At that time, four modern stands with a capacity of 57,000 were built for almost €100 million along with VIP lounges. The number of seats is limited to 51,000 for international matches, due to the installation of required seating in the standing sections.
The moment chosen for such reconstruction is not accidental, since at the end of the 90s. Germany has announced its intention to host the FIFA World Cup in 2006. The old building not only no longer met the safety requirements, but also had an athletics track, so the comfort of watching football matches was very low. HSV showed great determination, thanks to which the new stadium was built in just two years. This was recognized by the authorities of the association, as the DFB put Volksparkstadion on the list of hosts after receiving the rights to organize this tournament.
24 years of waiting for another renovation
Hamburg will once again have the opportunity to present itself to the football world. UEFA has approved the city's largest venue as one of the arenas for the upcoming UEFA EURO 2024. Given the fact that many of the systems used during matches and other mass events are already almost a quarter of a century old, the football authorities on the Old Continent have put the condition that the stadium must undergo the necessary renovation work. Then the Hamburg government has a guarantee that they will not lose the right to organize the EURO 2024 at the last moment.
The renovation is scheduled to begin on November 20 – exactly on the day of the start of the World Cup 2022 in Qatar. The HSV authorities felt that this would be the best moment to launch this venture, because the first team played their next home game in the 2.Bundesliga is scheduled for the end of January 2023. The most important points of modernization will be the renewal of the roof membrane, as well as the modernization of outdated lighting and sound systems. This means the desire to improve the acoustics of the entire building.
The cost of the planned works is estimated at €33 million. HSV board member and Chief Financial Officer, Thomas Wüstefeld, said the amount exceeded the club's initial estimate of €24 million. In order to obtain the necessary funds in 2020, the authorities of Hamburger SV sold the land around the facility to the city for nearly €23.5 million. Adverse events such as COVID-19 pandemic, war in Ukraine and high inflation have made the money earned in this way insufficient.
© Reinhard Kraasch (cc: by-sa)
Where is HSV looking for money to rebuild?
The board of the club, to which the stadium belongs, has already begun to search for the missing funds. The first idea was to apply for a loan from a company specialized in this field. HanseMerkur has also been one of HSV's biggest sponsors since 2022, contributing €3 million a year to the club's budget. However, the company requires an endorser that would give a guarantee, in case of a problem with its repayment. It was hoped that the city of Hamburg would agree to this role, but in the end it rejected this possibility.
The first phase of the investment, which starts in less than a month, requires €11.5 million. This means that the club will have a few more months to find an endorser before the next phase of renovation begins in the summer of 2023.
At the end of October, the EURO 2024 organizing committee will visit the facility. According to UEFA, Volksparkstadion will host four group stage matches and a quarter-final meeting.
We encourage you to take a look at the video on our YouTube channel, in which we present all the arenas of the Euro 2024: