2. Bundesliga, bundesliga

Hamburg’s Volksparkstadion to host Shakhtar Donetsk UEFA Champions League matches in 2023/24


Hamburg’s Volksparkstadion will play host to UEFA Champions League football in 2023/24 after the Bundesliga 2 club stepped in to help Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk, who are unable to play in their homeland due to the Russian attack on Ukraine.

Shakhtar haven’t played at their Donbas Arena home since 2014, first being forced to move to Lviv, then Kharkiv and now Kyiv. However, the war in Ukraine means the Miners are unable to host UEFA fixtures. Last season, they played their continental home games in Warsaw, but scheduling conflicts mean that was not an option for the coming campaign.

“After weighing up several options, we quickly opted for Hamburg,” stated Shakhtar commercial director Dmytro Kyrylenko. “We firmly believe that the games at the Volksparkstadion will be held at the highest level, and both local football fans and the thousands of Ukrainians who now live in Germany and other European countries will come together in the stands.”

HSV managing director Jonas Boldt added: “Building on our campaign with the charity match in summer 2022, it’s pleasing to see that we can continue to help Ukraine, and in this case Shakhtar, and that Hamburg will be a host for top international matches.”

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All organisational matters will be handled by HSV, including ticket sales. Capacity for European matches is 51,500.

The draw for the Champions League group stage takes place on 31 August. The Ukrainian champions are in Pot 3, which could therefore see them paired with a German club in Bayern Munich (Pot 1), Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig (both Pot 2) and competition debutants Union Berlin (Pot 4).

Hamburg and Shakhtar will use the (at least) three matches hosted at the Volksparkstadion to help those affected by the war in Ukraine. Visitors will have various options to donate to the Ukrainian club’s Shakhtar Social foundation and HSV’s #WeAreAllUkrainians organisation. The latter helped raised over €200,000 in May 2022 with its All-Stars for Ukraine charity match that saw a “DFB All-Stars” team take on “Team Hamburg & the World with HSV Legends”.

Watch: A taste of the home support at the Volksparkstadion

It's just one case of clubs in Germany doing their bit to help people in Ukraine. Notable other examples include:

There was also the fantastic story of refugee Artem Zahola, who won the youth title with Arminia Bielefeld last season, while the Germany national team marked its 1,000th international fixture by taking on Ukraine in Bremena thrilling 3-3 draw.

The Volksparkstadion – the home of 1982/83 European Cup winners HSV since the 1950s and rebuilt in 2000 – last hosted a continental club fixture with the 2010 UEFA Europa League final between Atletico Madrid and Fulham, which Hamburg narrowly missed out on after falling at the semi-finals to the latter. It was a venue for the 1974 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, UEFA Euro 1988 and will again host five matches at Euro 2024 in Germany next summer.

Find out more about the host venues for Euro 2024 here