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The Stadion an der Alten Försterei in Berlin Köpenick: Football stadium of 1. FC Union Berlin
The Stadion an der Alten Försterei in Berlin Köpenick: Football stadium of 1. FC Union Berlin © Camera4

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Stadion An Der Alten Försterei

Berlin's largest football-only stadium

Near the small Wuhle River in Köpenick is the traditional venue of 1. FC Union Berlin, inaugurated with a match against Viktoria 89 in 1920. Because an old woodsman's house once stood next to the stadium, the stadium came to be called the "Stadion An Der Alten Försterei" ("Stadium by the Old Woodsman's House"). Although various anti-aircraft positions were set up around the stadium during World War II, the stadium remained fairly intact. It was expanded several times during the post-war GDR years, but there was a lack of funds to renovate the stadium after reunification. But nostalgia about the stadium eventually led to donations being taken from the public and volunteers putting in 140,000 hours in 2008 to turn the Alte Försterei into a modern stadium. The fans wanted the majority of the 22,000 places in the stadium to be for standing, because they feel it is important to be close to the game. In mid-July 2013, a new large grandstand was inaugurated in a match against Celtic FC from Glasgow. The approximately 100 metre long grandstand, completely rebuilt from the foundations up, extends over three floors and offers a total of 3,617 seats.