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.
Hannover's application to form part of the inaugural Bundesliga was rejected, with local rivals Eintracht Braunschweig instead chosen, which formed a fierce rivalry between the two clubs. The Reds were promoted a year later, though, and they spent 10 uninterrupted years in the Bundesliga before relegation in 1974. The next 15 years were mainly spent in Bundesliga 2, with a few promotions and relegations, and they even slipped to the third division in 1996 before their climb back to the top flight began, culminating in promotion in 2002.
2010/11 saw them reach their greatest success by finishing fourth under coach Mirko Slomka and they enjoyed two seasons in the UEFA Europa League before a gradual decline led to relegation in 2016, although they bounced straight back to the top flight at the first time of asking.
2x German Championship (1938, 1954)
2x Bundesliga 2 champions (1987, 2002)
1x DFB Cup (1992)
After starting his playing career with Hannover, Andre Breitenreiter returned in 2017 to coach them – 13 years after leaving the city for northern rivals Hamburg. Hannover are Breitenreiter's fourth club as a coach, after starting out in the regional league with Havelse and spending two seasons with Paderborn, whom he led into the Bundesliga for the first time in their history in 2013/14. He did not manage to keep them there, however, as they were relegated on the final day of the 2014/15 season, but Breitenreiter remained in the top flight and moved to Schalke.
He led the Royal Blues to a fifth-placed finish and qualification for the UEFA Europa League, but that was not enough to keep him in a job as he was released in the summer. He was out of work almost a full season before joining Hannover in the final months of the 2016/17 campaign, obtaining with them the results they needed for promotion back to the Bundesliga – his second in as many attempts.
This time, however, he succeeded where he had failed with Paderborn and kept Hannover in the Bundesliga, finishing comfortably six points above the relegation play-off berth.
A look at the Bundesliga's top-scorer charts for 2017/18 may not come as a surprise at first glance, with Robert Lewandowski sitting pretty up top. Drop down just two lines, though, and you will come across the name Niclas Füllkrug. Hannover's striker found the back of the net 14 times, the same amount as fellow Germans Mark Uth and Kevin Volland, and just one fewer than the best German striker Nils Petersen, who was nevertheless 14 goals behind Lewandowski.
Formerly of Werder Bremen, Füllkrug had spent much of his career in Bundesliga 2 with Greuther Fürth and Nuremberg, which is why the return on his first full season in Germany's top flight was particularly surprising, but he has Breitenreiter to thank for his explosion. He was barely a back-up before the new coach's arrival, but held down a regular starting berth last season, and the goals came flooding in.
A tricky forward to deal with due to his physical strength combined with excellent touch and powerful shot, Füllkrug is the man to watch out for in the Hannover attack.
A first season back in the Bundesliga is always difficult, but Hannover mastered it without ever having any relegation worries, finishing in a comfortable 13th place with 39 points. They had a strong start to the season to thank for their safety, though, with a six-game unbeaten start including wins over Mainz, Schalke and Hamburg. Stand-out wins over Borussia Dortmund and Hoffenheim were highlights of a season, which threatened to go off the rails with five straight defeats in February and March, but wins over Werder Bremen and Hertha Berlin ensured Breitenreiter's men booked another campaign in the top flight.
Watch: Hannover humble Dortmund in six-goal thriller
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.
The 13th-largest city in Germany, Hanover is strategically situated in the centre of northern Germany, while it boasts a reputable university and is well connected, lying as it does at a crossroads of major motorways and railways.
Hanover has its own airport, just 18 minutes away from downtown with a subway train transiting approximately once every half hour throughout the day. While there are no flights beyond Europe and North Africa, the city is well connected to other major European hubs for intercontinental travellers. Train connections are also plentiful with all of Germany's major cities.
Getting to the HDI-Arena
Public transport is available via the tram lines 3, 7, 9 and 17. The first three are recommended for fans with tickets in the northern part of the stadium, with 'Waterloo' the ideal exit point, after which a seven-minute walk leads you to the stadium. Lines 3, 7 and 17 serve 'Stadionbrücke' station, which is also only seven minutes away from the stadium by foot.
Hannover tickets can still be bought via the official club website HERE.
Can't make it? Watch here:
If you can’t make it to the stadium, Bundesliga matches are broadcast around the world. FOX Sports and Univision provide coverage in the United States, while BT Sports are the exclusive broadcaster in the United Kingdom. In Germany, Sky Sports show the majority of matches, with Eurosport hosting one match per week.
Buy the kit
You can get your own Hannover jersey from the official club shop.