Stadion An der Alten Försterei
|1,866 (including 166 in 30 boxes) (Business seats)|
|Clubs||1. 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?
Germany: Stadium revolution in the capital getting closer?
In 2017, Union Berlin first published plans for the expansion of the Alte Försterei. These, however, had to be postponed. The German club is not giving up and has again presented its vision to transform the stadium into one that meets the highest European standards.
Germany: The 2022/23 Bundesliga stadiums have arrived!
The next Bundesliga season, already the 60th in history, will start today. Although Robert Lewandowski will be missing from the German stadiums this time, they are still worth getting to know. We present you with venues of Europe's finest competitions. Here is our lucky 18!
Berlin: No chance for Union's stadium expansion this summer
Clubs from the German capital have a hard time when it comes to stadium infrastructure. Hertha is laboriously looking for a suitable site for the construction of a new venue, and Union is unsuccessfully seeking permission to increase the arena's capacity.
Germany: Rainbow stadiums to commemorate Holocaust
This weekend German stadiums might be more colourful than usually. Illuminations, corner flag, captains’ armbands – these are some of the means to commemorate LGBT people as part of this year’s Remembrance Day in German Football.
Berlin: Union to wait longer for stadium expansion
Anticipated in May, the traffic report still isn't ready, which means documents on environmental impact and noise pollution are held further back. But the club remains committed to the plans despite the ongoing pandemic.
Berlin: Union still waiting with expansion
Union were hoping to begin further reconstruction of their cult stadium in mid-2019 but that plan proved way too ambitious. But this summer things might finally move forward. They might, don't have to.
Berlin: Union hopes for July green light
In mid-2019 both the stadium expansion and new club offices should have planning approval, according to latest Union Berlin statement. Public consultation regarding the club's largest ever project is about to begin.
Berlin: Thousands of toads descend on Union stadium
Spring migration has begun and it's more intense than before. Over 1,000 toads were already collected by workers of the city hall and Union Berlin, while trying to cross the club's complex.
Hannover: Surprise declaration in favour of legal pyrotechnics
If there's one person you would expect to be sceptical of pyro, it's a minister of interior. But it's exactly his announcement in favour of legal flares that sparked new heated discussion in Germany.
New design: Union's amazing centenary plan
To celebrate their historic stadium's century in operation, Union Berlin plan to massively expand its capacity and retain the stunning percentage of 78% standing places!
Berlin: “The best tradition of German football”
Four days after the tragic terror act, eyes turn again to Berlin, where the traditional Christmas caroling will fill Union’s stadium beyond capacity yet again.
10+ Ranking 2015: Attendances in Europe (Part 2. The Clubs)
Borussia, Barca and Man United – lovely dominant trio. But it wasn’t them who gained most fans last season. Check all 217 clubs that draw an average crowd of 10,000+!
10+ Ranking 2015: Attendances in Europe (Part 1. The Leagues)
Numbers don’t lie: French Ligue 1 outgrew Italian Serie A as Europe’s fourth largest league. Premier League seems unlikely to catch up to Bundesliga, while Turkey, Ukraine and Scotland are down.
10+ Ranking: Here are the best European clubs by attendance
There are 229 clubs in Europe enjoying on average 10,000 spectators and more. We list all of them to show the Continent’s most magnetic teams. Some fanbases really deserve praise for their participation, right Rangers/Portsmouth?
Berlin: Pitch covered with sofas
The unique initiative held at Union Berlin’s stadium seems to be a Real success. Over 700 sofas were brought by fans inside the stadium to create the world’s biggest living room and coziest public viewing area.
Berlin: “Bring your own sofa” and enjoy the World Cup
Union Berlin will surprise the world of football once more, this time changing their stadium into a massive living room. 750 sofas are expected on the field, all directed at the 700-inch TV surrounded by actual wallpaper covering the stands…
Berlin: Another record-breaking Christmas at Union
It seems the eve of Christmas Eve is becoming Berlin’s showcase tradition as another attendance record was set yesterday at Union’s stadium. 27,500 people gathered to sing in unison and enjoy the festive atmosphere.
Berlin: New grandstand at Union formally open
Prestigious friendly game and pyrotechnic show marked the final of Alte Försterei’s redevelopment. Though the new main stand has been open since February, its inauguration took place on Friday.
Berlin: Celtic to celebrate Alte Försterei’s redevelopment
Despite allowing fans inside, Union’s contractors are still working on the main grandstand of Alte Försterei. The stadium will officially be finished in July and celebrated with a friendly game against Celtic.
Berlin: New stand opens today at Union stadium
Not 18,500 anymore, but almost 22,000 – that’s the capacity of Alte Försterei since today, as the new main grandstand is ready for opening. Berliner Zeitung wonders if this won’t challenge the unique atmosphere around Union, considered to be a cult club.