Stadion An der Alten Försterei

Capacity22 012
3,617 (Seats)
1,866 (including 166 in 30 boxes) (Business seats)
Country Germany
Clubs1. FC Union Berlin
Inauguration 07/08/1920 (SC Union Oberschöneweide - BTuFC Viktoria 1889, 1-1)
Renovations 1952–1955, 1968–1970, 1979–1983, 2000, 2008/2009, 2011-2013
Address An der Wuhlheide 263, 12555 Berlin, Deutschland


Alten Försterei – stadium description

When the Oberschöneweide football field was created in 1920, it wasn't even within Berlin city limits. Borders changed later that year, moving the pitch to Berlin, but the football club retained its initial name Union Oberschöneweide until 1966. In its early years, the team had low landfill terracing on three sides and benches along the west sideline, altogether enough to hold 10,000 people.

Used as artillery site during WWII, the stadium saw its first major redevelopment in 1968, when the eastern landfill was extended with room for further 5,000 fans. In 1979 the same happened to both ends, resulting in quite impressive C-shaped stadium for 25,500 supporters. The west side was still almost unoccupied, seriously limited by training field located just next to the main one.

Union thus had a big stadium in early 1980s but of a rather low standard. Still, further changes were very limited and until early 2000s not much has happened aside from gradual improvements of the west side.

Brand new stadium began to emerge in 2007, when Union began efforts to take over ownership of the stadium. Eventually a 99-year freehold was secured in 2008 and a special subsidiary was created to manage the stadium, “An der Alten Försterei” Stadionbetriebs AG.

Thanks to overwhelming support from its fans, work on reconstruction could begin in 2008. Early and less challenging works were carried out largely by fans themselves. Altogether some 2,000 supporters got involved, delivering work worth a couple million euros. With the help of professional contractors the terracing on three sides was revamped and covered by 2009.

Final phase of that redevelopment came significantly later, in 2012-2013, when the new main grandstand was built from scratch. With over 3,500 seats it's the only seated section and – again – seats were also installed voluntarily by fans. This stands offers business and media accommodation, along with all crucial matchday and administrative facilities.

Fans also contributed financially to the project, collecting under €3 million to acquire shares in their beloved home. As a result some 5,500 people own 44% of shares and effectively have a say about its future.

How Alten Försterei compares to other Bundesliga stadiums?



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