Club: 1. FC Union Berlin | Opening: 1920 | Capacity: 22,012 (18,395 standing)
History and description
Stadion An der Alten Försterei was built in 1920 as FC Olympia, the predecessor of Union, had to move out of their previous home, which had gotten repurposed for residential housing.
Their new stadium, then still called Sportplatz Sadowa, officially opened on 7 August 1920 with a friendly against German champion Nurnberg (1-2), but the club had already played their first match at the stadium five months earlier against Viktoria 89 (1-1).
The stadium could initially hold just over 10,000 spectators, nearly all standing, and FC Olympia regularly moved to higher-capacity grounds for important matches.
It took until 1968 for the stadium to undergo a first major redevelopment, which included the enlargement of the terrace on the long side to a capacity of 15,000 places. In 1978, it was the turn of the stands behind the goal to be enlarged, which raised capacity to 23,500.
However, the stadium quickly fell into disrepair and safety measures cut back capacity. As the club lacked the finances to improve the ground, it took until the start of the new century for the stadium to get a first round of smaller improvements.
Union needed a more long-term solution though, and in the early 2000s the club looked to build an entire new stadium with a capacity of 30,000 places, of which 20,000 seats. However, the club lacked the funding and plans shifted to renovating Stadion An der Alten Forsterei.
In 2008, works started on replacing the terraces with new covered terraces along three sides. Just as during earlier redevelopments, a lot of the works were performed by fan volunteers. In 2012, works started in rebuilding the all-seater main stand, which opened one year later with a friendly against Celtic.
(photos of the present Stadion An der Alten Forsterei below)
How to get to Stadion An der Alten Forsterei
Stadion An der Alten Forsterei is located in the south-east of Berlin on the north bank of the river Spree. It lies about 14 kilometres from the Alexanderplatz in central Berlin and 12 kilometres from the Ostbahnhof, the closest large railway station.
The stadium can be reached with overground metro (S-Bahn) line S3. Station Kopenick lies a 10-minute walk away from the stadium. You can catch line S3 from Ostkreuz station in the east of Berlin. Ostkreuz, in turn, is on multiple other S-Bahn lines that connect the station with central destinations such as Ostbahnhof, Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstraße, Hauptbahnhof, and Zoologischer Garten. The journey takes 35 to 55 minutes depending on where in the centre you’re coming from.
Address: An der Wuhlheide 263, 12555 Berlin
Union Berlin Tickets
Tickets for Union Berlin matches can be bought online, at the club shop at the stadium, at the club shop at the Bahnhofstraße 23 in Kopenick near the stadium, or at the Union petrol station near the stadium on the other side of the Spree.
Standing places cost either €11.00, €12.00, or €13.00, while seats on the main stand range in price from €28.00 to €40.00.
Stadion An der Alten Forsterei stadium tours
Union Berlin offer guided stadium tours around Stadion An der Alten Forsterei that include the players’ tunnel, dressing rooms, press room, and VIP areas.
Tours typically run on the weekends at 1:00 pm. Check the Union website for the current schedule and bookings.
Tickets cost €9.00. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Photos of Stadion An der Alten Forsterei
Relevant Internet links
Fc-union-berlin.de – Official website of FC Union Berlin.
Altefoersterei.berlin – Official website of Stadion An der Alten Forsterei.
Visitberlin.de – Official tourism portal for the city of Berlin.
Bvg.de – Berlin public transport travel information.