The HDI arena is located in Hanover Sports Park, not far from Lake Maschsee. From 2002 to 2013 the stadium bore the name AWD Arena; it was previously known simply as Lower Saxony Stadium (which is what many football fans continue to call it today). The current name of the arena and home of the Bundesliga football club Hannover 96 is contractually set to last until at least 2020. This is where parties were held during the football World Championships of 1974 and 2006, as well as during the 1988 European Championship.
There’s room for up to 49,000 spectators in the HDI Arena. The stadium was last renovated in 2004, which was a result of having been added as a venue for the football World Cup. As part of the conditions to host World Cup matches, the arena’s seats had to be covered completely by a roof. In no time at all, almost three quarters of the venue was torn down, rebuilt and remodelled as a pure football stadium. The so-called “toothbrushes” were sacrificed to make way for the renovation. The floodlight masts of the Lower Saxony Stadium were replaced by single floodlights within the structure of the roof.
Before the last renovation, the stadium was also a venue for other sports; it hosted several German athletics championships as well as rugby and American football games. Moreover, in the 1980s it became a very popular venue for open-air concerts in Northern Germany. The stadium attracted artists like The Rolling Stones, Madonna, U2 and Coldplay, as well as crowds of fans.