Ever wanted to take in a Hannover game in the Lower Saxony capital, but do not know where to start? bundesliga.com has the ultimate guide to help you plan your next Bundesliga outing.
Hannoverscher Sportvereine von 1896 eV were founded, like many other of Germany's football clubs, originally as a rugby club on 12 April 1896. Just five years later, with football becoming the more common sport in the country, Hannover aligned their division with this general trend, although 3 July 1913 was a significant date in the club's history since that is when several smaller clubs merged into one to form the club as we currently know it.
Hannover won the German football league title for the first time in 1938. After 90,000 turned up for a 3-3 draw, the tie went to a replay where the northern club beat FC Schalke 04 against all odds in extra-time in front of over 94,000 in Berlin. Another turn up for the books saw Hannover win their second title in 1954 – the year in which Germany lifted the World Cup with a team full of players from Kaiserslautern, the team Hannover defeated in the final – without any Germany internationals among their ranks.
Once home to 86,000 fans, today the home of Hannover 96 since 1959 welcomes 49,000 spectators through its gates for Bundesliga matches. The Niedersachsenstadion, as the venue was known before being renamed to the HDI-Arena, has been host venue at two World Cups and one European Championships and is steeped in tradition as the biggest sports venue in Lower Saxony. When the ball is not rolling in the summer months, star artists such as Madonna and legendary bands like The Rolling Stones have kept people entertained while rugby and American football have also been played on a pitch which enjoys comprehensive sunlight due to the elevated degree of transparency of the roof.
Hanover - as the city is spelt in English - has developed into an exhibition centre in the north of Germany thanks to the success of EXPO 2000. While the usual visitors to the city may be wearing suits and willing to show off or try some of the latest innovations, football and sport is hardly out of place in one of Germany’s fastest growing cities. Horse lovers will find everything they need in the region thanks to the state-subsidised stud in Verden which plays host to the most exclusive horse auctions in the World throughout the year, selling on its famous Hannoveraner brand.