Location: Berlin, Germany
My nineteenth new ground of 2014 was on Saturday 13th September. The match was Hertha Berlin vs. Mainz in the German Bundesliga.
The stadium is part of the Berlin Olympic Park which was created for the 1936 Olympic Games. The complex is located in the western part of the city and is served by both an S-Bahn station and and U-Bahn station though there are also several other stations within walking distance. The venue has been home to the club since 1963 when they left their former home in the north of the city.
The stadium underwent substantial renovation works between 2000 and 2004 to bring it up to the required standard to host the 2006 World Cup Final. Though many facilities were vastly improved the main look of the venue was retained. There is still the gap on the western side of the ground where the steps run up towards the Olympic torch and the stone list of medallists from the 1936 Games. This also allows views of the 250ft high bell tower which was built in 1934. With a capacity of 74,244 the seating takes the shape of a two-tier bowl though there is a section in the middle of the south side which is styled differently. The area facing the pitch consists of four small rows of VIP seating on the lower tier, a media centre on the top tier and corporate boxes right at the back of the stand. As part of the renovation works the south side now has an extensive five storey area housing VIP lounges, kitchen, police holding area, player dressing rooms, a chapel and a large car park. When the players walk onto the pitch they emerge from a tunnel underneath this part of the ground. The substantial roof weighs approximately 3,500 tonnes and has twenty supporting columns distributed across the top tier to hold it in place.
There are spacious concourses outside of the arena on both tiers with a club shop built into the eastern side of the lower tier. As the stadium is just a part of the wider Olympic Park there are vast grass areas outside for many food and drink outlets on matchday. In addition to the main stadium there are smaller football and athletics venues as well as a hockey stadium and outdoor swimming stadium. To the west of the ground is the Maifeld with the clock tower at the top of this. When approaching the main entrance to the park on the eastern front fans walk down the wide Olympischer Platz with the Olympic rings displayed between the two that dominate the skyline.
Result: Hertha Berlin 1-3 Mainz
Division: German Bundesliga