1868-1908 The historical beginning
Even before the turn of the century, horse races were a popular spectator sport among the high society. The horse race track at Hoppegarten, located in the East just outside of Berlin, was a playground for the rich and beautiful of the aspiring new capital. The first horse races were staged here as early as 1868, with the “Union-Klub” being the driving force behind them. The wealthy audience increasingly shied away from travelling two hours across the city just to attend the horse races.
Due to the dwindling interest, the Union-Klub was looking for a suitable area to build a new horse race track in the now fashionable Berlin West. It found a place in Ruhleben, where the club leased premises and managed a race track from 1884 to 1893. It was only in 1906, that Victor von Podbielski, thanks to his various functions and his far-flung personal connections, managed to find another Grunewald location for the “Union-Klub.”
In February 1907, the club signed a 30-year lease for an adequate area north of the Döberitzer Heerstrasse, today’s Heerstrasse. But the area the rich and beautiful had selected for their sophisticated sport, was already taken by the people of Berlin – and, most unfortunately – by highest orders of the Emperor himself. Emperor Wilhelm II. had promised this area in northern Grundewald to his subjects in 1904, as a „People’s Park“. The “Union-Klub” had to accept that its leased area would also serve “general sports functions”. This was birth of the horse race track in Grunewald.
1909 - 1916 The National Stadium and the Olympic dream
On May 23rd 1909 the Grunewald horse race track designed by architect Otto March was opened. It had a capacity of 40,000 and, in its centre, featured a depression measuring 85,000 square metres, which was thought to serve as building ground of a stadium later. In 1912 Berlin succeeded in its bid for the Games of 1916. Podbielski organized the funding of a new stadium, whose construction was estimated at 2,25 million Reichsmark.
In August 1912, the excavation works for the National Stadium (Deutsches Stadion), also known as the “Grunewaldstadion”, began. The stadium featured 11,500 seats and standing room for another 18,500, the swimming pool stadium had a capacity of another 3,000. The National Stadium and all of its facilities were proudly inaugurated after only 200 days of construction, on May 15th 1913. Otto March, however, would not live to see the opening ceremony on June 8th 1913, as he deceased on April 1, 1913. From now on, the stadium was at the centre of German sports. It also quickly evolved as the centre for German professional, competitive sports, preparing the country’s top athletes for the Games of 1916 – a centre, where young talents were selected, trainers and sports teachers were educated.
In February 1914, the mighty oak, marking the eastern edge of stadium, was named “Podbielski-Eiche“, to honour the State Minister. Otto March’s decision to leave the oak (standing at the far end of the stadium) untouched, was a deliberate move: It was now thought to bless the Games, just like the holy olive tree once has blessed the antique games at the Zeus temple at Olympia. But the Olympic dream came to a sudden halt, when Europe suddenly tumbled into World War I. On July 26th 1914, the stadium closed and, as of 1915, served as a military hospital. Another year passed before it was used for sports once again.
1917-1929 The “Sportforum”
On May 15th 1920, a new Deutsche Hochschule für Leibesübungen (DHfL) – the German University for Athletics – was installed at Berlin’s Friedrich-Wilhelms-University, today’s Humboldt-University. Starting in summer 1921, a two-storied university building was erected north of the stadium’s swimming pool. On May 26th 1922, this new building, including a gymnasium, a fencing hall and a dining and reading room, was opened. In 1925, Theodor Lewald suggested the name „Sportforum“ for the newly planned building complex – but this idea received little support. Despite all objections, the name “Sportforum” quickly became popular, and on September 16th 1925, the board of the DRA officially named the expansion area “Deutsches Sportforum“ – a name that has been used until today.
On October 18th 1925 Reichspräsident von Hindenburg, in a festive ceremony, performed the laying of the cornerstone – despite the fact that there were no finalized architectural designs ready. It came as a surprise when the brothers Werner und Walter March, the sons of the architect of the National Stadion, won the architectural competition in late 1925. In the late 1920s, plans for hosting the Olympic Games in Berlin once again emerged. Werner March developed a design for remodelling the National Stadium into a sports arena with a capacity of 65,000. This time the beginning of the Great Depression crushed the dream.
1930-1933 Plans for the remodelling of the National Stadium
But in 1930, during the 9th Olympic Congress of the IOC in Berlin, Theodor Lewald officially announced an invitation for the Olympic Summer Games of 1936. The IOC was impressed with Berlin’s city landscape, its many sports parks and the general enthusiasm for sports. On May 13th 1931, the election of the next host city took place at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, and Berlin managed to defeat Barcelona with 43 to 16 votes (eight votes were abstentions). The plans for remodelling the stadium as suggested by Werner March continued to enjoy wide support.
When Adolf Hitler was made Chancellor on January 30th 1933, the discussions about building a new stadium were suddenly directed into a different direction. The Nazi regime quickly understood the valuable propaganda opportunity the Olympic Games presented. The government now made available six million marks for re-modelling the National Stadion. At the same time, the project was renamed into “Reichssportfeld” (Imperial Sports Area). On December 14th 1933, Hitler himself decided to have the third design by the brothers March, called “solution option B”, to be implemented. This plan called for the demolition of the National Stadium. The new stadium was designed to be built ten metres below and 13 metres above the ground – creating a commanding, highly visible building.
The layout of the stands for the audience was planned above and below a circular middle gallery on ground level. All of the architectural features actually built later, can already be found in this initial plan: The Olympischer Platz, the Olympic Stadium itself, the parade grounds with the so-called “Führerloge” and the Bell Tower on the East-West-Axis, the Coubertinplatz, as well as the swimming pool stadium on the North-South-Axis.
1934-1936 Construction of the Olympiastadion
The demolition of the horse race track and the National Stadium began in March 1934. The huge mass of soil created by excavating the construction pit, were used to erect the western main stand, on the Maifield. Hitler had decided that the construction should be supervised by the Imperial Ministry of the Interior. At this point, both the brothers Werner and Walter March were still named as architects. It was only later, that Werner March took over the general management of the project. But right from the start, the construction was always behind schedule.
Secretary of State Hans Pfundtner tried to speed things up by announcing to the construction companies that any firm that was unfit to work in several shifts or companies that turned out to be “difficult“ would be replaced immediately by competitors. In addition, the construction companies were forced to hire only “complying, non-union workers of German citizenship and Arian race“. In April 1935, a total of 1,500 workers were employed, in July 1935, this number had increased to 2,064, in order to make up for the lost time.
At one point, 500 companies with a total of 2,600 workers were employed at the “Reichssportfeld”. There are no exact figures about the total construction costs of the Olympiastadion. However, some information and hints point to a figure of at least 27 million Marks. The gap between the planned funding by the state was closed by donations and money from the regime’s employment program. The city invested another twelve million Marks for the expansion and the improvement of the traffic infrastructure.
1936 The Olympic Games 1936
The XI. OIympic Summer Games officially began on August 1st 1936 at the Olympiastadion Berlin and closed on August 16th 1936 with a grand closing ceremony. A total of 3,956 athletes, among them 328 women, from 49 nations took part in the competitions. The most successful athlete was James Cleveland “Jesse“ Owens, who won four gold medals – 100m and 200m sprints, long jump and with the American 4x100m relay. The (unofficial) nations’ ranking was led by Germany with 33 gold, 26 silver and 30 bronze medals, followed by the USA (24/29/21) and Hungary (10/1/5).
During the Olympic Games, the German Imperial capital presented itself in its most beautiful appearance. Adolf Hitler had informed the German IOC member Karl Ritter von Halt as early as 1932 that the NSDAP would not present “any difficulties” during the Olympic Games of 1936 and that “he would also not oppose the participation of coloured people at the competitions”. The SA was ordered to stop any anti-semitic attacks between June 30th and September 1st 1936. But despite the positive reviews of the sports competitions, some foreign observers, who realized the real terror regime behind the feigned façade, voiced their criticism.
After the Olympic Games, the “Reichssportfeld” annually saw 20 to 25 large-scale events. The Hochschule für Leibesübungen (Academy for Athletics), however, was ordered to cease operations, and instead a new school, the Reichsakademie für Leibesübungen (State Academy for Athletics), was opened on April 15th 1936 by Hitler’s orders. Here, aspiring teachers were destined to receive a „uniform education as leaders in the field of physical education“ – but in reality, the school served the purposes of the paramilitary SA sports training.
1937-1945 The Olympiastadion before and during World War II
The first final match of the German National Soccer Cup was played at the stadium on June 20th 1937, Schalke 04 beat the 1.FC Nuremberg by a score of 2:0. On September 28th 1937, thousands of torch-carrying Nazis marched on the Maifield to welcome Italian “Duce” Mussolini. During the first years of the war there was a continuous series of „War Championships“, Hitlerjugend- and Army Sports Festivals. The Olympiastadion played a crucial part in the entertainment programs for German troops.
The Reichssportfeld had been prepared for war quite early – in the area around the Marathon tunnel, a concrete ceiling and separating walls had been added to expand these underground rooms into a real bunker. At the dawn of the war, the German company Blaupunkt produced primers for anti-aircraft weapons here. In late 1944, the Allied bombardments became increasingly more intense, and the underground facilities of the stadium were prepared as makeshift headquarters for the “Großdeutscher Rundfunk”, Nazi Germany’s national radio network.
The administration building north of the Olympischer Platz served as an ammunition depot, other buildings were used for large-scale food and wine storages. The Olympischer Platz was one of ten locations in Berlin, where, on November 12th 1944, Hitler’s last contingents were being sworn in.
1945 The post-war era
Only days after Germany’s unconditional surrender in May 1945, the Reichssportfeld was cleaned up. The area was dotted with bomb craters, empty ammunitions boxes, burned equipment, barricades and dead bodies. The Sportforum building was heavily damaged, the „Stadion-Terrassen“ were reduced to ruins. The stands on the Maifeld were smouldering for days after the national German film archive, whose material was stored there, had caught fire. The fire expanded onto the Bell Tower, which completely burnt out.
The administration building at the Olympischer Platz was completely destroyed after the war, when stored ammunition exploded. Carl Diem, the Secretary General of the Organising Committee of the Olympic Games 1936, made himself the director of the “Reichssportfeld” administration and, together with other former employees, began the clean-up process. The Red Army had occupied the “Haus des Deutschen Sports” temporarily, establishing a garrison there.
On June 20th 1945, Diem had the largely untouched swimming pool stadium opened to the public – and masses of Berliners made good use of it. After the Soviets had drawn back their forces from this part of the city, British troops occupied the premises on July 1st 1945. The Olympiastadion was closed immediately to the public because the British Army wanted to use all the facilities – except for the “Stadion-Terrassen” – for itself.
1946-1956 From “Reichssportfeld” to Olympiastadion
The British reopened the stadium for the first time on September 7th and 8th 1946 when the “Eight-Nations-Games”, a track-and-field competition of Allied soldiers, was staged here. On February 15th 1947, the Olympiastadion lost one of its landmarks: The British Military Government ordered to demolish the dilapidated Bell Tower. The bell’s fall to the ground created a long crack in the bell material. In order to save the bell from metal hunters, British pioneers buried it on the square in front of the former tower location. Former Heavyweight World Champion Max Schmeling staged his last fight at the open-air arena, now called “Waldbühne” on October 31st 1948 in front of an audience of 24,000.
Step by step, more parts of the “Reichssportfeld” were turned back to German authorities. The Olympiastadion was handed over on June 12th 1949. Exactly one year later, the Berlin Senate decided to rename the “Reichssportfeld” into “Olympiastadion”. The new mounting of the bell was finally realized on December 18th 1956, thanks to efforts made by Werner March. He succeeded in the reconstruction of the bell tower, which was completed after two years in 1962. This new tower has a height of 77,17m, almost one metre more than its predecessor. During the course in the reconstruction, the “Langemarckhalle” at the middle level was also rebuilt – without any consideration of its negative historic context: The hall had been envisioned by the Nazis who wanted to honour the dead of the battle at Langemarck. The hall – along with the tower – had been completely destroyed by the detonation in 1947.
1957-1988 Monument Conservation, Floodlight and a new roof
Inside the arena, a discreet denazification had started as well: The “Führerloge” on the Honorary Stand was reduced in by one metre in length to take away its historic effect. In 1966, the former “Reichssportfeld” was put under Monument Conservation of West Berlin. And in November 1966, a new floodlight system was completed.
The four poles, each 88 metres high, had a power of 4,000 Lux for soccer matches and 300 Lux for track-and-field events – but they fell short of the standard power for stadia of the time (1,500 Lux). In 1969, the old ash-covered running track was replaced by a more modern synthetic running track made of Rekortan. This material was new then and was tested for its usage during the Olympic Summer Games of 1972.
For the 1974 World Cup the stadium received a partial roof over the Northern and Southern stands, designed by architects Dübbers and Krahe. A total of 26,000 seats were now protected from bad weather. In addition, the press stands, and the public bathrooms for the audience were modernized. The stands and the reporter’s trench were now separated by a plexiglass wall.
1989-1997 The bid for the 2004 Olympic Games
In November 1989, Berlin’s bid for the Olympic Summer Games 2004 was advanced for the Games of 2000. This involved plans to completely modernize the whole stadium. But Berlin’s candicacy failed miserably on September 23rd 1993 in the first round. After almost fifty years, the British military presence on the former “Reichssportfeld” ended on September 8th 1994. British Prime Minister John Major, and Governing Mayor of Berlin, Eberhard Diepgen unsealed a commemorative plaque on the Adlerplatz in front of the the “Haus des Deutschen Sports” with a festive ceremony.
2000-2004 Reconstruction into a multifunctional arena
On July 3rd, the ground-breaking ceremony was performed by German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, Minister of the Interior, Otto Schily, and the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Eberhard Diepgen, along with DFB-representative Franz Beckenbauer.
Step by step the ailing building was renovated. For the re-construction, the stadium was divided into 19 sectors, starting in the North East. The upper ring was largely left untouched, but the lower ring of stands had to be completely rebuilt. This new lower ring also involved the lowering of the infield by 2.65 metres, allowing the addition of another two seating rows and a shorter distance between infield and stands. The inner gallery between lower and upper ring now served for the integration of most of the 76 new VIP boxes. In addition, the honorary stand as well as the historic Hall of Honour and Coubertin Hall, based on the requirements of the monument conservation, could be remodelled. 13 new Sky boxes were installed in the former press stands in the upper ring stands.
The renovation was carried out without closing the stadium: Despite the stadium being a huge construction site, the National Soccer League games of Hertha BSC, the annual DFB FA-Cup Final Matches, and (starting in 2003) the home games of the NFL-Europe team Berlin Thunder were staged. The Walter Bau-AG had guaranteed a total of 55,000 seats for sporting events, for the DFB FA-Cup Final Matches, a total of 70,000 seats were made possible. Only the Golden League track-and-field meeting ISTAF had to move to the Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark.
The new roofing of the stands was not closed because the historic opening at the Marathon Gate was to be preserved. The undisturbed view of the Maifeld and the Bell Tower, requested by the Monument Conservation Authority, thus was left untouched as well. Due to this construction, the seemingly floating roof is supported by 20 filigree steel columns standing in the upper ring. Some of the most advanced lighting technology and an audio system with a performance of more than 150,000 Watts is integrated into the roof.
2004 The reopening
In summer 2004, the stadium was handed over to a new management and administration company. The stadium was re-opened with a grand opening festival and event on July 31st. Since August 2nd, the stadium has been open to all Berliners and tourists (on days without scheduled events).
On September 8th 2004, the German national soccer team played their first match at the new stadium – the team led by federal coach Jürgen Klinsmann managed to hold its ground against the Brazilian team by playing 1:1.
The final completion of the stadium and the surrounding areas continued until 2006, when the stadium was well-prepared for the 2006 FIFA World Cup and the sports highlight of 2006: The final match on July 9th at the Olympiastadion Berlin.
2005 The “Five-Star-Stadium” award
The new Olympiastadion Berlin has been celebrated as a “Five-Star-Stadium” since its reopening. In April 2005 the European Union of Football Associations (UEFA) officially named the Olympiastadion Berlin to the list of “Five-Star-Stadia” – the highest ranking possible for all stadiums in Europe. The new roof construction by gmp (Gerkan, Marg & Partner) and the engineering firm Krebs and Kiefer was honoured with the 2004 steel construction prize by Bauen mit Stahl e.V. – one of the oldest German architectural prizes.
Barely one year after reopening, the Olympiastadion Berlin was able to greet its 150.000th visitor (excluding events). 12.407 guests took advantage of the opportunity to see the stadium for free on the day of the first anniversary of the new Olympiastadion Berlin. Additional highlights during the “first” year were the U2 concert, the international German gymnastics festival and the ISTAF.
2006 World class sports with the World Cup Final 2006
Football, as the number one sport, played the biggest role in 2006. Highlighting the football history at the Olympiastadion Berlin was the FIFA World Cup 2006, when six games of the tournament were played there. Unforgettable memories will remain from the games Germany – Argentina, which the eventual 3rd place finisher Germany won in penalty kicks, and the World Cup Final between Italy and France. The Squadra Azzura had to go to penalty kicks as well on their way to becoming the 18th World Cup Champions at the Olympiastadion Berlin.
In time before the start of the FIFA World Cup, the chapel inside the Olympiastadion Berlin was opened. The chapel serves the athletes as well as people who want to celebrate a marriage or the christening of their children. Since September of 2006, a tailormade organ provides the musical elements of services.
Immediately following the FIFA World Cup two more major events took place at the Olympiastadion Berlin, as Robbie Williams as well as the Rolling Stones fascinated tens of thousands of fans. Major sporting events also followed, as the world’s track and field stars including Asafa Powell and Jeremy Wariner battled for the win at the ISTAF, an IAAF Golden League Meeting.
A world premiere was also part of the events at the Olympiastadion Berlin, as 50.000 fams gathered to see the first Pyronale. Six teams of the internationally leading pyrotechnicians competed over two days and fascinated the people with fireworks displays never before seen. A jury consisting of specialists in the field of pyrotechnics as well as celebrities judged the teams’ performances and chose the Portuguese “Luso Pirotecnia Group” to be the winners.
2007 ISTAF-anniversary, visitor records and high class concerts
The number of visitors did not fall in 2007, as the 500.000th visitor was greeted in February. Approximately 276.000 tourists came to see the new Olympiastadion Berlin during non-event days.
The 2007 sporting events highlights included home games for Hertha BSC Berlin and Berlin Thunder, as well as the DFB Cup Final and the U16 international match between Germany and France. Additionally, the ISTAF celebrated its 70th year of existence and 66th time the event was held.
Concerts included Herbert Grönemeyer and Genesis, who were on a Comeback-Tour while stopping at the Olympiastadion Berlin. The Pyronale fireworks world championship also returned in September to find a new world champion on the Maifeld behind the Olympiastadion Berlin.
2008 The year of Guiness World records
The year 2008 is one of records at the Olympiastadion Berlin. On June 3rd, the first of two Guinness world records was set by the longest children’s painting, which covered all 75.000 seats, measuring a total length of 37 kilometres. In July, German Comedy-Star Mario Barth set a new world record when 70.000 people came to see his comedy act.
Since July bears are growling at the Olympiastadion Berlin. The Olympiastadion Berlin Buddy-Bear was greeted at the stadium. The bear displays the beauty, meaning and functionality of the Olympiastadion Berlin in many different ways.
On August 28th Pop-Queen Madonna thrilled 50.000 fans at the Olympiastadion Berlin, the first stop in Germany on her “Sticky & Sweet” Tour.
Another success was the 3rd Pyronale fireworks World Championships at the Maifeld, next to the Olympiastadion Berlin.
2008 was and remains an interesting year in sports as well. The German FA Cup Finals for men and women were sold out on April 19th at the Olympiastadion Berlin. At the ISTAF approximately 60.000 fans came to cheer on the world’s elite athletes. After a two year wait, Hertha BSC Berlin was able to welcome fans once again to UEFA-Cup games at the Olympiastadion Berlin. The absolute highlight of 2008 sporting events will be the friendly match between the German and English national teams on November 11th. The preparations for next years sporting event highlight are also being made. The 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics will come to Berlin in 2009. The stadium’s track is being re-topped to shine blue once more and the long and triple jump sites are also being renewed to comply with the highest standards of the IAAF.
2009 The world is looking to the Olympiastadion Berlin
The record setting at the Olympiastadion Berlin continued in 2009. During the ISTAF, Ariane Friedrich equalled the German Record in the women’s high jump and thusly enthused Berlin for the world’s third largest sporting event: the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics berlin 2009™. Around 400.000 spectators at the Olympiastadion and the millions in front of the TV screens in more than 200 countries celebrated three World Records and hundreds of National Records during the nine days of the championships. Usain Bolt’s new World Records in the men’s 100m and 200m on the fastest track in the world – the blue track at the Olympiastadion Berlin set the absolute highlights.
The concert season also brought a new record – one for spectators: More than 90.000 Fans came to see rock superstars U2 in July during their 360° Tour, where for the first time ever, a 360° stage was used. One month before Depeche Mode had played in front of a sell out crowd.
Hertha BSC also enthused Berlin. For several weeks, the capital’s soccer team was at the top of the standings and let fans dream of the first championship since the 1930/1931 season. In the end, it was not quite enough for the trophy, but with a fourth place finish, the club will be playing internationally during the 2009/2010 season.
The DFB Cup Finals were also once again sold out and Werder Bremen and FCR 2001 Duisburg secured the titles in the men’s and women’s finals. The beginning of September marked the fourth time the Pyronale World Championships of Fireworks took place at the Olympiastadion. The season’s closing event was the B2Run, Germany’s most beautiful company running event, which will take place every year on from this year at the Olympiastadion Berlin.
2010 World Records, Hard Rock and a new CEO.
2010 had a lot to offer: 3 new Athletics World Records, Hard Rock at its finest and much more.
The first set of records was achieved at the BIG25 road race – the fastest road race for the 25 km distance. For the first time in history, both the male and female winners set new World Records in a road race. Kenyan long-distance runner Samuel Kosgei improved upon the old World Record (1:12:45) by finishing in just 1 hour, 11 minutes and 50 seconds. Mary Keitany beat the old World Record (1:22:13) with a time of 1 hour, 19 minutes and 53 seconds.
Four months later, David Rudisha excited the world of Athletics by shattering the 800 m World Record that had previously stood for 23 years, setting a new time of 1 minute and 41,09 seconds.
The German Cup Final promised an exciting match between the two best teams of the tournament: FC Bayern Munich and SV Werder Bremen squared off in a match that did not quite live up to the potential with Bayern Munich earning a decisive 4:0 victory.
The 5th Pyronale lit up the Berlin night-sky with bright colors and about 65.000 Visitors marveled at the fireworks from six international teams of pyro technicians. The Swiss team “Bugano” took home the winners’ trophy. Slovakia and Greece placed second and third.
Hard Rock fans were treated to a highlight in the summer of 2010 as well, as the Australian Hard Rock Band AC/DC jammed in front of 70.000 excited fans at the Olympiastadion Berlin.
On July 1, 2010 a change in management occurred for the Olympiastadion Berlin GmbH. Peter von Löbbecke left the Olympiastadion after six years of successful work with many major sporting and cultural events. His successor was 56-year old lawyer Joachim E. Thomas. Thomas is not new to the business, having recently lead a consulting firm for sports, cultural and leisure time activities. In the past, he has worked with the Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt and the Allianz Arena in Munich. Thomas is also a member of the German Olympic Association.
2011 75 years Olympiastadion, Mass with pope Benedikt XVI., FIFA Woman WC
75 Years Olympiastadion – 75 Years Olympic Games Berlin
Two anniversaries, one celebration – although it seemed more like a series of celebrations that took place at the Olympiastadion and Olympiapark during the months of August to November. Thank you to all visitors, fans, athletes and artists who travel to Berlin to deliver unforgettable events and emotions year in and year out at the Olympiastadion Berlin.
The visitor center reopened after a remodeling period and offered an extended program for all tourists including an exhibit on the Olympic Games of 1936. Several round table discussions on the Olympic movement and historical significance with some high-profile guests were also held. The highlight of the event series also marked the end of the celebratory period: The Night of Lights – a light show and installation created a colorful atmosphere inside the Olympiastadion. A party with live music also entertained the guests.
In the time from August 1st to November 11th 2011 the Olympiastadion Berlin welcomed more than 100.000 guests.
Hertha BSC: 2. Bundesliga winners 2010/2011
After being relegated to the second division last year, Hertha BSC and its fans had something to celebrate this season. Coach Markus Babbel’s team managed to claim the league title and earn their promotion back to the Bundesliga.
The final league match of the season provided another big reason to celebrate as Hertha BSC defeated FC Augsburg by a score of 2:1. 77.116 fans were able to attend thanks to an additionally erected mobile stand at the marathon gate.
In total, 784.221 fans came to see the 17 home matches. Hertha BSC finished the season with 12 victories and only three losses in 17 home games.
23rd January 2011, the 10.000.000 Guest in the Olympiastadion Berlin
The walk to the office of Hertha BSC was worth it for Olaf Hartwich: He bought the jubilee ticket and thereby became the 10.000.000 Guest of the Olympiastadion Berlin since the reopening in summer 2004.
Olympiastadion Berlin director Joachim E. Thomas and Hertha-director Ingo Schiller honored the winner before the game (Hertha BSC – Fortuna Düsseldorf) inside the stadium. The happy stadium guest received two VIP tickets for the Herbert Grönemeyer concert in June 2011, furthermore he was invited to watch the following game in the VIP area and got his personal Hertha BSC jersey.
“My father took me to my first Hertha game in 1978 against Roter Stern Belgrad. I am a fan since that day and try to go to as many games as I can. I normally watch from the Ostkurve, but thanks to Hertha I can watch the game from another angle.” Said the happy winner Olaf Hartwich.
“It’s nice to welcome our jubilee guest to our Hertha game day. The fact that the winner is a Hertha Fan makes it even better.”
BIG 25 Berlin 2011
The BIG 25 Berlin run solidified his role as the world’s high-class 25 km run. Despite the warm weather, two athletes managed to beat this year’s best marks.
Mathew Kisorio ran the 3rd best time ever, over the 25 km distance with 1:12:13. The fastest woman was Filomena Chepchirchir who also made it on top of this year’s best list with 1:23:22. The host, Berlin Runs, counted 10.423 participants at the BIG 25 Berlin this year.
BIG 25 Berlin received a unique international award. After the last BIG 25 Berlin run in 2010, where two world-records were set, the association of international Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) decided to honor the event with a special award “AIMS Award”.
21st Mai 2011: German Cup Final
The derby between the MSV Duisburg and Schalke 04 resulted in a heavy defeat for Duisburg as Schalke won 0:5 with Duisburg failing to offer any bigger kind of resistance.
In front of 75.708 fans, both teams showed amibition to win this trophy in the beginning. But just after 18. minutes Julian Draxler scored. The game seemed to be decided afterwards, Schalke took over control and didn’t want to give it away anymore. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Benedikt Höwedes extended the lead to 3:0 before the end of the first half.
The second half had no room for surprises. Schalke played superiorly and scored two more goals.
Schalke 04 earned their victory and finished the season 2010/2011 as “Pokalsieger”.
26. Juni 2011: Opening game FIFA Women’s World Championship. Germany vs. Canada 2:1
The Women World Championship had their opening match in the Olympiastadion Berlin. It never happened before that so many people visited a woman football match in Europe. 73.680 guests were present, when the German team won against the Canadian Team and made for a successful start in the tournament.
The German team scored 10 minutes after kick-off for the lead, Kerstin Garefrekes headed the ball past the Canadian Keeper. Just before the half time break Celia Okoyino Da Mbabi scored the second goal for the hosting/home team.
The second half: The Canadian Team managed to score their first goal in the game. Germany won 2:1 against Canada.
2. and 03. Juli 2011: World Culture Festival
The World Culture Festival took place because of the 30. anniversary of the “Art of Living” foundation. Participants from more than 150 different countries witnessed the unique features of different cultures from all over the world and took important and sensational experiences home with them.
The big celebration inside and outside of the Olympiastadion was presented by music, food, drinks, literature and conferences from the big variety and individual beauty of cultures from around the world. The festival honored the cultures and celebrated the harmony of diversity.
30 pianists and 2.000 guitarists celebrated the end of the festival with a big concert.
16. July 2011: Mario Barth – Tour Final
He did it again! Three years after his impressive world record, Mario Barth invited everyone into the Olympiastadion Berlin and it was a full house. It was the last of four stadium perfomances from Mario Barth: “Men are embarrassing – sometimes women are, too!” was the motto of the day. The weather couldn’t have been better for an open-air event.
Before the actual Barth show started, some opening acts prepared the audience for the German comedian. Revolverheld as well as Victoria S., Madcon and Sido entertained the crowd.
The impressive stage showed the metro station Schlesisches Tor. A typical yellow Berlin metro train drove across the stage. As the train stopped, only one passenger left the train: Mario Barth! Barth entered the stage and started with his impressive show. The audience was under Mario’s control and after one hour, everyone got a break for the laughing muscles. DJ Bobo, the famous singer and dancer fired up the audience during Barth’s break. The second part of the show ended with a huge firework and the night sky over the Olympiastadion lit up in bright colors.
27. July 2011: Hertha BSC – Real Madrid
On the July 27th, Hertha BSC welcomed Real Madrid in the Olympiastadion Berlin.
This game served Hertha BSC to thank the fans for their fantastic support and celebrate the ascent to the first Bundesliga. The visit of the “Royal Club” under star-coach Jose Mourinho guaranteed a full Olympiastadion.
Quotes from the heads of Hertha BSC and Olympiastadion Berlin (translated)
Michael Preetz, Manager Sports for Hertha BSC:
“We’re proud to have the Royals with their stars like Mesut Özil and Cristiano Ronaldo in Berlin. This isn’t just a game – it’s an absolute highlight.”
Joachim E. Thomas, Manager of Olympiastadion Berlin GmbH:
“We’re looking forward to that Highlight in the Olympiastadion Berlin. We await the match against the Madrilenians with excitement.”
2. and 03. September 2011: Pyronale – Firework-World-Championship
The firework-world-championship in September is an important event for six years now. This year’s Pyronale at the Olympiastadion Berlin was a fantastic sensation. The six teams impressed the audience as well as the jury. Team Surex from Poland was the overall winner of the Pyronale 2011.
Team Orion Art from Russia delivered a stunning show and became the winner of the first day. The fireworks of Team Malta Fireworks and Groupe Fiatlux-Ampleman from Canada were left standing.
On the second day, Team Joho Pyro from Finland, Team Classic Fireworks from the UK and Team Surex from Poland competed. Team Surex did not only impress the spectators, but also fascinated the judges and thereby won the golden trophy of the event.
The color guideline this year was silver-violet and the given music was a medley from Camille Saint-Saëns “Fossilien and “Karneval der Tiere”. The other music choice was “Ungarischer Tanz Nr. 5” from Johannes Brahms.
11. September 2011: Internationales Stadionfest ISTAF
51.812 people came to the 70th ISTAF and enjoyed the perfomances of the world’s top athletes under warm conditions.
The two times world-champion Yohan Blake, set a new ISTAF record in the surpreme discipline over 100 m. He overtopped the old record (9,86 seconds) with a spectacular 9,82!
The German athletes had more than one reason to celebrate. Reigning discus world champion Robert Harting kept his opponents on distance with a 67,22 m throw.
The crowd saw four ISTAF-records and three victories of German athletes this day.
14. September 2011: B2Run
The third B2Run event attracted more than 7.000 runner from 450 companies.
Known faces like ex-professional boxer Henry Maske, handball national keeper Silvio Heinevetter and SAT.1 host Simone Panteleit were part of the event. They served as messengers from the company run championship, to appreciate the commitment from partaking companies to health promotion.
The 6 km run ended on the blue tartan track inside the Olympiastadion. Not only the fastest runner was promoted, but also the one with the most creative outfit.
The following Party in the new Lounge- and Catering area was accompanied by an event host team and DJs.
22. September 2011: Mass with pope Benedikt XVI.
Pope Benedikt XVI was welcomed in the Olympiastadion Berlin. The pope of the Catholic Church drove through the marathon gate in the popemobile and rounded the blue tartan track to greet the community. Afterwards he signed the Golden City book of Berlin in the presence of reigning mayor, Klaus Wowereit. Subsequently followed the mass.
After the service with 61.000 believers, Archbishop Rainer Maria Woelki thanked Pope Benedict XVI for a moving celebration of faith.
“I thank him today for a real pleasant preachment, where he invited us to not fixate on negativities but on Jesus Christ. We are connected in church because of him. This joy got ahold of me, so let us take this joy to look at the following days.”
Woelki also thanked the many people who made it possible to create this joyful event and named for example the Olympiastadion Berlin Team, the staff which built the structure, the staff of rbb and many more.
Archbishop Woelki and other German Bishops accompanied the pope through his Germany visit, next stops were Erfurt and Freiburg.
24. September 2011: Breakfast-Run
Warming up and a breakfast afterwards: Traditionally the breakfast-runners gather on Saturday morning before the Berlin-marathon, to run 6km from Schloss-Charlottenburg to the Olympiastadion Berlin. 11.000 people participated this year.
Start was at 9:30 am and just after 10 am, the first people arrived at the blue tartan track. The big group’s entrance in the stadium was accompanied by a group of 30 drummers. Everybody got a chance to eat some breakfast before they jogged back to the city to prepare for the marathon.
2014 German Cup final - walk of fame
Under the expert moderation of Gerhard Delling and in the presence of two “real” Cup heroes – Norbert Dickel and Günter Netzer – two new attractions were opened at the Olympiastadion Berlin: From now on the “Wall of Fame” with more than 40 meters in length shows all historic match ups of the DFB Cup final including their results and team logos. The “Walk of Fame” immortalized the greatest Cup heroes of the past and present with their hand or footprints.
Freshly unveiled and immediately set in concrete: the hand and footprints of BVB Allstar Norbert Dickel and “self-substitutior” Günter Netzer in bronze. Representing all Cup heroes were both on hand to inaugurate solemnly their own imprints at the opening ceremony.
The DFB Cup “Walk of Fame” was brought into being by the German Football Association and Volkswagen, the official partner of the DFB Cup, in 2013. With the opening on the 16th of May 2014, it received its place at the Olympiastadion Berlin – the place where each year the final of the DFB-Pokal Club is being discharged.
These include the large, well-known names of football, as well as the non-famous personalities who have achieved the extraordinary around the DFB Cup and thus helped shape the history of this competition.
With the foundation in 2013 the first 13 Cup heroes were appointed after being nominated by a jury of experts and a public vote among all football fans on the “Walk of Fame”. Since the season 2013/2014 two new Cup heroes are added through this mode every year: each another hero from the more than 70 years of history of the German Cup and the most valuable player of the currently ended DFB Cup season.
The “Wall of Fame” offers the Cup fans another genuine pilgrim destination and the opportunity to experience the special stories and emotions of the DFB Cup at first hand. The core of the 30-meter-long “Wall of Fame” are 35 winner panels made of acrylic glass, in which all previous finals can be seen with the date of the game, the club name (incl. the logos of the clubs) and the final score. The focus of the design of the “Wall of Fame” is – highly visible – the DFB Cup.
Over the past few years, the annual DFB Cup final has become one of the major international football events and is broadcasted in about 200 countries worldwide.
Joachim E. Thomas (CEO Olympiastadion Berlin GmbH):
The “Wall and Walk of Fame” are not just an enrichment for the Olympiastadion Berlin. Finally, we have – in addition to the stadium itself – for the fans of the German Cup a real pilgrimage site on our ground. Completed is the entire thing by the permanent exhibition of a custom-made trophy replica in our visitor center. The trophy is at home in Berlin – all year round “.
Thomas Zahn (Sales and Marketing Manager Germany VW car):
“We are particularly pleased that the unique stories and personalities that have shaped the DFB Cup so far, can now be experienced permanently by all fans directly at the home of the Cup final. We are already excited about the further cup episodes and heroes that will move onto the “Walk of Fame” within the next years.”
The members of the DFB-Pokal Walk of Fame at a glance
The first footballer to win the DFB Cup as a player and as a coach. Overall Schaaf has five cup victories, all with the SV Werder Bremen.
TSV Vestenbergsgreuth’s scorer of the winning goal in the 1: 0 win over FC Bayern München in 1994. The German Champion was eliminated in the first round.
The first football player who won the DFB Cup three times in a row: Twice with the Karlsruher SC (1955 and 1956) and once with Bayern Munich (1957).
1994 Victory scorer for the amateurs of FC Bayern München at the 2: 1 win over the defending champion Werder Bremen. At the same time, Bayern’s first team got eliminated.
Victory Goal Scorer for the VfB Eppingen as they won 2: 1 against the Hamburger SV in 1974. It was the first cup win of an Amateur Association against a Bundesliga team.
1997 Goal Scorer Eintracht Trier in the two sensational consecutive victories against the reigning UEFA Cup winners FC Schalke 04 (1: 0) and UEFA Champions League winners Borussia Dortmund (2: 1).
Became the first player to score six goals in one half when he scored in the second half of the match FC Schönberg 95 against 1. FC Kaiserslautern in 2004. The game ended 0:15.
In 1992, the goalkeeper of the then second division team Hannover 96 scored in the semifinals a penalty kick. In the final against Borussia Mönchengladbach, he held two penalties and Hannover 96 thereby won with 4:3 in the penalty shoot-out.
The only coach who has won the FDGB Cup of Eastern Germany and the DFB Cup.
The only player who played in every game of the legendary series of victories of Fortuna Dusseldorf in the German Cup 1978-1981 and thereby won 18 matches in a row.
Goldsmith, who designed and manufactured the DFB Cup.
Held ten penalty kicks in DFB Cup games and was the first goalkeeper to score a penalty kick in a German Cup final as he helped Werder Bremen to win the final match against Bayern Munich in 1999 with 6:5 after penalties.
Substituted himself in and scored the winning goal for Borussia Mönchengladbach in the German Cup final in 1973 against the 1. FC Köln.
New historical Cup-hero 2014:
Played despite sustaining a serious knee injury in the German Cup final in 1989 and scored two goals for Borussia Dortmund against Werder Bremen. The match ended 4: 1. Thus, the “Hero of Berlin” became very iconic among the fans.
2015 Champions League Final, German Cup Final and additional categorization as a UEFA "Elite Stadium"
DFB Cup final and UEFA Champions League Final in just one week. From the 30th of May to the 6th of June 2015, the football elite of Europe conjured at the Olympiastadion Berlin. A double challenge for the organizers and for a stadium that was awarded by the UEFA a five-star stadium – the highest award that is awarded by the European Football Association for a stadium – once before.
Now, the Olympiastadion Berlin has additionally received the classification as “Elite Stadium”, in Gold: The massive plaque that was received by Managing Director Peter von Löbbecke, the Commercial Director, Britta Bachmann, and the Director of Event Operations, Christoph Meyer, is emblazoned distinctly and visibly in the open daily visitor center at the Olympiastadion Berlin.
Peter von Löbbecke is proud of the Finale which was discharged between the FC Barcelona and Juventus Turin on the 6th of June, 2015 : “We were very concerned about the Champions League Final, we have been talking with the UEFA about a future hosting since 2004,” said the head of the Stadium. But the successful bid is only half the battle: “We have heard praise for the implementation from all sides and excellent press coverage speaks for itself”, sums up Löbbecke. “The organization and cooperation between UEFA, the DFB, the State of Berlin and us could not have worked out any better – therefore we would like to thank all participants by heart. And without our experienced Stadium team it all would have been unthinkable.”
The preparation time had taken two and a half years on site and brought the Sportmetropole Berlin an exceptional “Week of Football”.
For a total of 37 times the final of the German cup, this year between Borussia Dortmund and VfL Wolfsburg, took place at the Olympiastadion Berlin. Since 1985, the “German Wembley” has been the permanent venue of the sporting climax of the national football season and the flagship of the DFB, as the world’s largest sports association. This year, the final was broadcasted in more than 176 countries, including Afghanistan, Panama and Zimbabwe and was with 75,815 spectators completely sold out.
Furthermore, this year’s UEFA Champions League final between the FC Barcelona and Juventus Turin, the supreme discipline of the UEFA was with 70,500 spectators completely sold out and was further broadcasted in more than 200 countries worldwide. More than 100,000 fans from Spain and Italy came to Berlin to cheer on their teams.
Within the “Week of Football” visited a total of 147,000 spectators, the Olympiastadion Berlin, approximately 20,000 hospitality guests were in the 45,000-square-foot tent city on the Maifeld and 13,000 accreditations were issued for the contributors in the preparation and implementation of the two events.
When more than 300 million people are watching, everything has to be planned down to the last detail and sit with pinpoint accuracy – or how the UEFA says: “The best of the best on the ultimate stage”!