New stadium construction: Hertha and the blue and white dream of your own box of chocolates

Hertha BSC wants to bring a bit of “Bombonera” to Berlin. No less than the legendary temple of atmosphere of the Boca Juniors in the middle of Buenos Aires, the heart club of Diego Maradona, who died in 2020, serves as a model for the new design for the planned new home ground of the Bundesliga soccer club. “It’s in the middle of a residential area and has been structurally adapted accordingly,” said Hertha’s finance director Ingo Schiller on Friday in the sports committee of the Berlin House of Representatives. “Our stadium looks similar,” he emphasized.

“La Bombonera” (in English: the box of chocolates), a stadium where football is lived. The houses in the metropolis’ hip art district are practically within arm’s reach. In Berlin, a new stadium is to be built on the Lindeneck in the Olympic Park. Hertha has wanted a football-only stadium for years. For years, the Olympic Stadium, with over 70,000 seats, has seldom filled up.

The costs are likely to amount to 250 million euros

The new arena would seat 45,000 spectators. So Hertha went down another 10,000 places in its plans. 36,500 fans could come to the stadium for international games, which Herthan could only dream of in the past two seasons in a relegation battle. According to Schiller, who will soon be leaving, the costs would amount to 250 million euros.

It is to be paid for with “low equity”, a higher loan, and the rest as a mortgage loan. The financing is absolutely feasible, said Schiller. Even if it was played in the second division for several years. The refinancing is done exclusively through football matches.

Support from Interior Senator Spranger

“I’m convinced that Hertha should get a football stadium,” said Berlin’s Senator for the Interior, Iris Spranger, who also made the stadium issue a top priority. At the beginning of the more than four-hour meeting on Friday, the SPD politician announced that she would convene a steering and project group that she would lead. It is to be set up in Parliament after the summer recess.

A few weeks ago, in the long-standing debate about the location of a pure football stadium for the Berlin Bundesliga club, she brought up a building on the edge of the Maifeld. This will of course be smaller, not as big as the neighboring Olympic Stadium.

Incidentally, the current home ground would not be completely left out in the new stadium either. Three top games could still be kicked off there, according to Hertha’s considerations.

Protest of a riding club

In order to minimize the impact on the structure of the listed Maifeld, the south side of the stadium should only be half as deep, which would give the new stadium a resemblance to Boca’s Estadio Alberto Jacinto Armando. A large screen on the south side of the stadium should also provide the opportunity for public viewing in Berlin.

But everything is just planning. Much needs to be further discussed, checked and clarified. Be it the topic of major events with high noise emissions, which would increase every year on the grounds of the Olympic Park, the protest of a riding club or the protection of monuments. They had not talked about installing a stadium in Lindeneck, said the director of the State Monuments Office, Christoph Joachim Ulrich Rauhut. The state curator also saw some difficult points that could prevent construction. He emphasized that the developments had to be accompanied and that monument-compatible solutions had to be found so that Berlin could get its bombonera.

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