The stadium was initially built in the early 1950s and was called the Niedersachsenstadion (The Lower Saxony Stadium). It then had floodlight pylons, a running track and a capacity of nearly 90,000 (only 3,000 covered).

1974 World Cup
Some updating of the stadium, including the addition of more roofing, was done for the 1974 World Cup, when it hosted four games. As well as football, in the 1980s and 90s, the stadium also staged many open air concerts by artists such as Phil Collins and AC/DC.

2006 World Cup
After Germany was awarded the 2006 World Cup and Hanover specified as one of the host cities, a public-private partnership was formed to finance the construction of the new stadium, with the local authority being one third owners. In 2003/04, the old stadium was almost entirely demolished, with just part of the West Stand retained in the new arena. The conversion cost 65 million euros, with the new stadium being officially opened on 23rd January 2005.

Naming rights were sold to financial services company AWD, and the ground is now known as the AWD Arena, although due to FIFA’s ban on stadium sponsor’s names, it will be called the ‘FIFA World Cup Stadium Hanover’ during the 2006 World Cup.

The new arena has a capacity for Bundesliga games of around 49,000, including room for 8,000 standing fans. It is reduced to around 45,000 for all-seater games.

Cashless stadium
At the time that the new arena was built, an automated turnstile and cashless payment system was also introduced. All drink and food is now bought and sold inside the ground using a special payment card instead of cash.

Official AWD Arena website (German only).

The AWD Arena is near enough to the city centre to walk to it Hanover centre to stadium: More »