Official | Union Berlin to play Champions League football at the Olympiastadion

Union Berlin have confirmed that they will play their Champions League games at the Olympiastadion instead of their home ground the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.

In a letter to the fans, Union president Dirk Zingler said: “The decision about where we will host our home games in the Champions League is one of them, because it has to do with our home, the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. So, ultimately, it is a theme that had to be addressed rationally, but it is also one that touches upon our deepest emotions…But now, we have had to decide whether our stadium is suitable for the Champions League. Happily, UEFA are continuing to allow standing terraces for the season ahead, meaning that (when considering the many extra arrangements and conditions, and a considerable reduction in our own seating and sponsor’s areas) even Champions League matches would be possible in our stadium…I have had a lot of conversations in recent weeks, with honorary members, with former players and staff, with fans both organised and less so, with members and sponsors, and even with those who have been close to our club for many years – in some cases decades – yet who are not members.

Therefore, after considering the many good arguments, we in the club management have decided to host the Champions League matches at the Olympiastadion, and the Youth League matches at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.

I understand the disappointment of those who would have liked to see Champions League matches at the Alte Försterei and would even have forgone their own ticket to do so. But in essence, our decision ended up placing the possibility of being able to offer tickets for these games to all fans, above that of playing them in front of a rather smaller group of Unioners at the Alte Försterei…We have a small stadium, so for many years more and more members have not been able to, or have been able to attend only a few of their club’s games in person. We believe that giving every one of our 56,000 members the opportunity to experience these special Champions League matches live is the right decision. Our guiding principle has been thus: the Champions League is for all Unioners. And we will also make sure that as many people as possible can afford to attend these games.”

Union qualified for the Champions League after finishing fourth in the Bundesliga, this is the next step in their development having previously played in the Europa League and Europa Conference League over the past two years.

Die Eisernen have already begun their preparations for Champions League football next season as they have completed the signings of Diogo Leite, Alex Kral and Mikkel Kaufmann. While Union are also close to completing the signings of Leeds United’s Brenden Aaronson on loan and Benedict Hollerbach of Wehen Wiesbaden. 

The Olympiastadion is the current home of Union’s cross city rivals Hertha Berlin. Hertha suffered relegation to the 2.Bundesliga after an underwhelming season where they spent most of the season flirting with relegation. 

GGFN | Jack Meenan 


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