For the 2024/2025 season
Union Berlin is making way to convert the old forester’s house into the Olympic Stadium
1. FC Union wants to realize its stadium renovation in the next three years. In the 2024/2025 season, the club will therefore have to move to the Olympic Stadium – because large parts of the old stadium will be demolished in this phase.
1. FC Union Berlin will probably play its home games in the 2024/2025 season at the Olympic Stadium. The reason for the temporary move is the expansion of the An der Alten Försterei stadium. With 22,012 seats, the stadium in Köpenick is nowhere near meeting the high demand of the fans.
Complete demolition and new construction from three sides
The Bundesliga club has been planning for some time to expand the stadium and increase the capacity to around 37,700 spectators. However, so far the implementation has failed mainly because of the traffic concept. “As far as the traffic concept is concerned, we have made good progress,” chairman Dirk Zingler reported at the general meeting on Monday. For example, there is a space for the tram loop, a bus parking area and a solution for the traffic situation at the S-Bahn stations. “This now needs to be reflected in the planning and people can then comment on it.”
The urban planning approval procedure, on which the construction rights for the stadium also depend, can therefore continue. If there are no objections to the plans and the other factors, such as the development of building material prices, are also correct, the stadium must be renovated in the 2024/2025 season.
Apart from the grandstand, the other three sides of the old forester’s house will be completely demolished. “If we tear down and rebuild the three sides, we will play football in the Olympic Stadium during this time,” Zingler announced. Union has had the necessary exemption from the German Football League (DFL) since promotion in 2019.
In March 2023, the club wants to provide further information about the plans at an information meeting in the stadium and also announce the costs of the project.
Union is the new owner of the Alte Försterei estate
As the club also announced, 1. FC Union has bought the entire site on which the old forester’s house stands from the Senate. The Bundesliga club used a clause for this that was agreed in the leasehold contract. The purchase price will be announced by the Senate itself in accordance with the agreement with Union. The fact that Union now owns not only the buildings, but the property itself, is a “historic moment,” President Zingler said. “We have been playing football here since 1920 and for the first time the entire Alte Försterei belongs to us Unioners. That makes us all very happy.”
Before the stadium is expanded, there are other works to be carried out on the site. The forester’s hut will be renovated next January. After the current season, a professional training center, a parking garage and a new club house will be built in a construction time of approximately twelve to 14 months.
Positive developments in the financial world
President Zingler is also pleased with the financial report, which was also presented at the general meeting. Last season, Union increased its turnover from around 73 million euros in the 2020/2021 season to 122 million euros. In total, the association made a profit of 12.7 million euros after deduction of all taxes. Negative equity, which had risen sharply in the past two years due to the corona pandemic, also improved. At the end of the current season, it should be positive for the first time in the club’s history with plus four million euros.
Liabilities were also reduced by EUR 10 million to EUR 62 million. However, reducing liabilities is not a priority for Zingler. “Sporting success is important, then economic success will come naturally if you do it wisely.”
The club also saw growth in membership. A total of 48,368 people are currently members of the association.
Broadcast: rbb24, November 14, 2022, 9:45 p.m