Unlike countries like England that favour one particular national stadium, the Nationalmannschaft has played home matches in forty cities since 1908; this section focusses on the grounds that have hosted DFB home matches in the post-war period from the first competitive fixture against Switzerland which was played at Stuttgart’s Neckarstadion in November 1950.
The table below lists all of the grounds that have been used as home venues by the German national side since 1950: a number of grounds have either been rebuilt or renovated, and in these cases both the name of the ground when the first international fixture was played as well as the current one have been included. On account of the new-fangled fetish for giving stadiums silly-sounding sponsor names, many grounds have seen a number of name changes: for example, Hamburger SV’s ground was called the Volksparkstadion when it hosted its first international in 1953, but after renovation was called first the AOL-Arena and then the HSH Nordbank-Arena and Imtech Arena before reverting back to its original name.
I have included the modern names in the data so that the grounds can be easily identified; like many ground name traditionalists however, I am not the biggest fan of stadiums named after travel companies, banks or toilet bowl manufacturers. I have always believed that traditional names should be preserved, and if a ground is to be rebranded it should take the name of a footballing legend: for example while many fans of 1. FC Kaiserlautern may have been initially disappointed at the old name Betzenbergstadion being consigned to history, they would have been happy at the ground being renamed as the Fritz-Walter-Stadion after one of the city’s – and German football’s – most famous sons.
I hope one day that the stadium in München can one day be called the Franz-Beckenbauer-Stadion, Karl-Heinz-Rummenigge-Stadion or, should he win 150 caps and lead Germany to World Cup glory, the Philipp-Lahm-Stadion. As things currently stand, Allianz Arena is not that bad – especially when there are some horrors such as Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park and – my personal favourites – VfL Bochum’s rewirpowerSTADION and 1. FC Nürnberg’s EasyCredit-Stadion.
Recent regulations concerning ground seating have meant that the ground capacity figures are not always consistent; in many cases, German grounds have specially-created terraced areas used during domestic fixtures that cannot be utilised during internationals or UEFA-sanctioned club competitions. München’s Allianz Arena for example has a capacity of 75,024 for domestic fixtures that includes a small standing area, but for fixtures that require all spectators to be seated this is reduced to 70,000.
To keep things simple, I have cited the higher figure for each ground.
The DFB has a rule, or a regulation or maybe it’s just a guideline, that says the national team’s home games can only be played in grounds that hold at least forty-thousand people – but in some cases this has been worked around by classifying the match as a charity game. This is how some of the smaller grounds such as the New Tivoli in Aachen, Rhein-Neckar-Arena in Sinsheim and more recently the Coface-Arena in Mainz have been able to make their way onto this list. (Thanks to Uli Hesse for this information).
Renovations, Refurbishments, Rebuilds and Relocations
The vast majority of the stadiums in this list have been renovated, refurbished and in some instances completely rebuilt – meaning that the original plot has remained the home ground of a particular club side in some shape or form. However some older grounds have seen the club relocate to a completely new development, while they themselves were either reused for other purposes or demolished altogether. In these cases, the name of the club side is in italics.
In May 2016, the WWK-Arena in Augsburg became the thirty-fifth ground to join this “club”. Having hosted four games at the old Rosenaustadion, the city of Augsburg joined Dortmund, Gelsenkirchen and München as the only cities to have hosted international matches at two different grounds.