Former names Niedersachsenstadion (until 2002),
AWD-Arena (2002–2013),
Stadium Hanover (during 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup)
FIFA World Cup Stadium, Hannover (during 2006 FIFA World Cup)
Location Hanover, Germany
Operator Hannover 96 Arena GmbH & Co. KG
Capacity 49,200[1] (League Matches),
43,000 (International Matches)
Surface Grass
Opened 26 September 1954[2]
Construction cost 82.8 million (for redevelopment)
Architect Schulitz & Partner Architects
Hannover 96

The Niedersachsenstadion [ˈniːdɐzaksn̩ˌʃtaːdi̯ɔn] (Eng: Lower Saxony Stadium) is a football stadium in Hanover, Lower Saxony, Germany, which is home to Bundesliga football club Hannover 96.

The original 86,000 capacity stadium was completed in 1954 and has since been rebuilt several times for various major football events. Today it has 49,000 covered seats. During the World Cup 2006 the stadium was named FIFA World Cup Stadium, Hanover.

Through a sponsorship deal, the stadium's official name is currently HDI-Arena [ˌhaːdeːˈʔiːʔaˌʁeːnaː]. Between 2002 and 2013 a similar arrangement saw the stadium renamed as the AWD-Arena [ˌʔaːveːˈdeːʔaˌʁeːnaː].


The stadium was built between 1952–1954, with an original capacity of 86,000. Huge amounts of debris from the houses in Hannover destroyed during World War II were used as the foundations of the stadium, with a total construction cost of 4 million Deutschmark. The stadium officially opened on 26 September 1954.

Hannover 96 moved permanently to the stadium from the Eilenriedestadion in 1959. Other local clubs, such as Arminia Hannover, OSV Hannover, TSV Havelse and Sportfreunde Ricklingen have also played matches there. In addition, the stadium has hosted numerous international matches, 4 (old) league championship games (1955,57,58,61), 2 DFB Supercup finals (1991–92) and 8 DFB Cup finals (1962, 63, 65, 70, 72, 75, 77, 79).

From 2002 to 2013 the stadium carried the name of sponsor AWD.

On 17 November 2015, the stadium was due to host an international friendly between Germany and the Netherlands. However, the match was postponed two hours before kick off following reports of a "concrete security threat" and "intention to ignite explosives". The stadium and surrounding areas were evacuated, though no explosives were found.[3]

International football tournaments

All times local (CEST)

1974 FIFA World Cup

The stadium was one of the nine venues chosen for (West) Germany's first hosting of the World Cup. This event saw the number of seats increase to 38,000, which entailed a decrease in the overall capacity to 60,400. In addition, the upper rank of the west grandstand was completely roofed. These alterations cost 26million DM. Newly modified, the arena featured in both the first and second group phase.

The following games were played at the stadium during the World Cup of 1974:

Date Time Team 1 Result Team 2 Round Attendance
15 June 197416:00 Uruguay Uruguay0–2 Netherlands NetherlandsGroup 353,000
19 June 197419:30 Uruguay Uruguay1–1 Bulgaria BulgariaGroup 312,000
26 June 197419:30 Brazil Brazil1–0 East Germany East GermanyGroup A (2nd round)58,463
23 June 197416:00 Argentina Argentina1–2 Brazil BrazilGroup A (2nd round)38,000

1988 European Championship

When Germany hosted its second international tournament, the stadium was again chosen as a venue. By now, due to the conversion of 8,000 terrace spots into single seating, the capacity stood at 55,000. It hosted two group matches:

Date Time Team Result Team Round Attendance
11 June 198815:30 Denmark Denmark2–3 Spain SpainGroup A60,366
15 June 198820:15 Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland1–1 Soviet Union USSRGroup B38,308

2006 FIFA World Cup

The stadium was one of the venues for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. However, due to FIFA sponsorship contracts, the arena had to officially be called FIFA World Cup Stadium Hanover (German: FIFA WM Stadion Hannover) during the World Cup. The stadium also had to convert its standing areas into seating, thus reducing the capacity for the tournament to 43,000, before being converted back after the games.

The following games were played at the stadium during the World Cup of 2006:

Date Time Team Result Team Round Attendance
12 June 200621:00 Italy Italy2–0 Ghana GhanaGroup E43,000
16 June 200621:00 Mexico Mexico0–0 Angola AngolaGroup D43,000
20 June 200616:00 Costa Rica Costa Rica1–2 Poland PolandGroup A43,000
23 June 200621:00 Switzerland Switzerland2–0 South Korea South KoreaGroup G43,000
26 July 200621:00 Spain Spain1–3 France FranceRound of 1643,000

Modern redevelopment

Although the stadium has seen many changes through the years, none were as extensive and impacting as the redevelopment of 2003/04 by Schulitz & Partner Architects, which cost €65 million.

There had been much controversy within the club's fanbase over suggestions of building a new football arena for many years before. Eventually this led to the decision to preserve and comprehensively redevelop the existing stadium in 1997/98. When Germany was somewhat unexpectedly awarded the hosting of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the major stadium work was finally put into action.

During 2003/04, major parts of the stadium were rebuilt and thus the maximum capacity was reduced to 49,951 (of which around 8,000 are standing spaces). Before 2003, the stadium had had high floodlight masts (referred to by locals as 'toothbrushes'), track and field facilities inclusive and about 60% was open plan. The redevelopments transformed it completely into a football arena and removed approximately 70% of the previous building. The roof and about 25% of the area at the outer edges of the west grandstand were demolished like the north, south and east grandstand.

Instead of the previous scoreboards, the arena gained two modern video boards and replaced the old floodlight masts with 160 modern single headlights, which were integrated into the roof structure, supplying a light density of 1500 lux.

The pitch, under which a high performance drainage system and a cabin ground heating system was installed, was moved closer to the spectators than ever. With the removal of the track and field facilities, the pitch was moved directly to the west grandstand and the remaining grandstands were then built around it. This necessitated the stands behind the goals be designed in such a way that the upward gradient becomes larger gradually from west to east, creating a rather peculiar asymmetry, as the original west grandstand possessed such small angles of inclination and the new east grandstand was as constructed as steeply as possible.

The new inner roof was constructed using ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) to allow sunlight through and thus allow the grass the grow naturally, whilst also protecting all spectators from bad weather . This care for the pitch helps avoid the constant need to re-lay it as in many other roofed stadiums and was designed by Hanke Loköter who helped construction the Allianz Arena as well.

The new business and corporate packages of the AWD-Arena are just like the press area in the east grandstand. There are approximately 1,250 business seats, 29 VIP boxes for 10-12 people and 96 press places.

Work on the stadium finished ahead of schedule in December 2004. The first football match held following the redevelopment was on 23 January 2005, where Hannover 96 lost 0-3 to Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga.

In June 2008, it hosted the 2008 Hannover Sevens, the European Sevens championship in rugby union.

On 15 November 2009, the stadium was filled to capacity as the funeral site for 32-year-old Hannover 96 goalkeeper Robert Enke, who took his own life on 10 November 2009.

The stadium is one of few actual stadiums to be named on FIFA 12 when it was released of 28 September 2011.

Other uses

Aside from football, the stadium was also the scene of several German athletics championships, the German Turnfest (a sports festival), field handball finals, concerts, rugby & American football.

Since the performances of The Rolling Stones & Queen in 1982, the stadium has developed into the leading open-air concert venue in Northern Germany. After the stadium underwent extensive redevelopment in 2003/04, the open air tradition was revived again with a concert by The Rolling Stones in the new arena. Madonna performed at the stadium during her Confessions Tour in August 2006 for an audience of 40,000. Other performers who held a concert at the venue include Michael Jackson in 1988 as part of his Bad World Tour, Bon Jovi in 1996 for his These Days Tour, Status Quo in 2006 and U2 in 2010 during their U2 360° Tour with Kasabian as Support Act.

In 2013, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band as well as Robbie Williams are set to give concerts for the first time at the stadium.

Artists with more than two concerts at the venue:

Artist Dates Tour Notes
The Rolling Stones 6 & 7 June 1982 Tattoo You Tour
23 & 24 May 1990 Urban Jungle Tour
22 June 1995 Voodoo Lounge Tour
19 July 2006 A Bigger Bang Tour
Phil Collins 17 & 18 July 1990 Seriously, Live! World Tour
3, 4, 6 & 7 September 1994 Both Sides of the World Tour
Genesis 7 June 1987 Invisible Touch Tour
10, 11 & 13 July 1992 We Can't Dance Tour
23 June 2007 Turn It On Again Tour
Pink Floyd 25 June 1988 A Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour
16 & 17 August 1994 The Division Bell Tour
Tina Turner 4 June 1990 Foreign Affair Tour
29 May 1996 Wildest Dreams Tour
3 July 2000 Twenty Four Seven Tour with John Fogerty as Support Act
Metallica 31 August 1991 Wherever We May Roam Tour as part of Monsters of Rock 1991
19 May 1993 Nowhere Else to Roam Tour
AC/DC 31 August 1991 Razors Edge World Tour as part of Monsters of Rock 1991
17 June 2001 Stiff Upper Lip World Tour with Megadeth as Support Act
Coldplay 25 August 2009 Viva la Vida Tour
22 September 2012 Mylo Xyloto Tour with Charli XCX & Marina and the Diamonds as Support Acts
Herbert Grönemeyer 3 June 2007 12 Tour
4 June 2011 Schiffsverkehr Tour


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Coordinates: 52°21′36.24″N 9°43′52.31″E / 52.3600667°N 9.7311972°E / 52.3600667; 9.7311972

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