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Jahnsportpark berlin 2006.jpg

The Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Sportpark is a sports site in the Prenzlauer Berg district of Berlin. In the south it borders on the Eberswalder Straße, in the north on Max Schmeling Halle, in the west on the Mauerpark, where part of the Berlin Wall once stood. It includes a football and athletics stadium as well as several smaller sports fields. The stadium is the second largest in the city after Berlin's Olympiastadion with 20,000 seats (15,000 covered) and is used by football sides Hertha BSC II and BFC Dynamo.

History

Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Sportpark (1954)

Since 1825 the area was used as the drill grounds of the Guard Regiment of the Prussian army. Some housing was constructed on the site late in the 19th century, but this was a short-lived use and the area soon became an open space used for sports. Between 1892 and 1904 the site served as the ground of Hertha BSC. The city of Berlin purchased the land in 1912 and developed it for sports use in 1913.

After World War II and the division of the capital city, the area was part of what had become East Berlin in the Soviet zone of occupation. A football and athletics stadium with a capacity of 30,000 spectators was built on the site in 1951 for use during the World Youth Festival that year. Known initially as Berliner Sportpark, East German municipal officials re-named the facility the Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Sportpark the following year to honour the centenary of the birth of the man known in Germany as the father of gymnastics. The stadium was re-furbished in 1988 and its capacity reduced to the present-day number.

Use of the site

From 1963 to 1989 the facility hosted the Olympic Day of Athletics competition modelled on a similar event staged each year in West Berlin. The meet saw the setting of several world records including Uwe Hohn's record javelin throw of 104.80 meters on 20 July 1984 – the first time a throw of over 100 meters was made.

East German first division club Dynamo Berlin played its DDR-Oberliga home fixtures here. In addition the national side played ten international matches at the stadium between 1951 and 1990, including its 13 March 1974 contest versus Belgium which ended with a 5:2 victory before a record 30,000 spectators.

The stadium was used by the Berlin Thunder of the NFL Europe whenever the Olympiastadion was unavailable. The amateur side of Hertha BSC also use the facility when they expect an unusually large crowd or where there are security concerns related to a match. In addition the final of the Berlin Cup is held here each season.

In July 2006 the first team of Hertha BSC played its UEFA Intertoto Cup semi-final match against FK Moscow (0:0) before 8,500 spectators here, as well as its UEFA Cup qualification home contest against Georgian club FC Ameri Tbilisi (1:0).

Beginning with the 2006-07 season the stadium will serve as the home ground of Oberliga Nordost-Nord (IV) side Berlin AK 07.

The facility also serves as a concert venue and has welcomed performers such as Michael Jackson.

See also

Coordinates: 52°32′35″N 13°24′19″E / 52.54306°N 13.40528°E / 52.54306; 13.40528

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