On Tuesday, the Berlin Senate had passed new Corona rules, including new specifications for spectator capacity at events at the Alte Försterei and the Olympiastadion. However, the exact wording had caused different interpretations.
Large events with more than 2,000 people in attendance outdoors can be approved in Berlin from 1 December “only up to an absolute number of 5,000 spectators with full capacity and for the part exceeding 5,000 people with a maximum of 50 per cent of the further capacity”, the Senate had announced on Tuesday.
Unclear in the capital
Thereupon, there was uncertainty in the capital about the specific numbers of spectators permitted in future for matches in the stadiums of 1. FC Union and Hertha BSC. Depending on the calculation, upper limits of 13,500 or 16,000 were circulating for the Alte Försterei, where Union plays its Bundesliga and Cup home games, and 39,738 or 42,238 for the Olympiastadion, where Hertha BSC plays.
On Wednesday, the Senate Department for the Interior and Sport then solved the mystery. “According to the new regulation, the following occupancy rates are possible: Alte Försterei 13,500 and Olympiastadion 39,738. This is calculated as follows: ‘If the spectator numbers exceed 5,000, 50 per cent of the remaining free seating capacity can be added,’ the responsible senate department informed. The simplest way of calculating the capacity of the stadiums is: “Maximum seating capacity of the stadium minus 5000 divided by two. “ The official capacity of the Alte Försterei is 22,012 spectators, that of the Olympiastadion 74,475.
Union in front of just under 40,000 at the Olympiastadion
In addition to Hertha, 1. FC Union is also affected by the regulation for the Olympiastadion. The Eisernen play their European Cup home games at the home ground of their city rivals. On 9 December, coach Urs Fischer’s team will welcome Slavia Prague for the final group match in the Europa Conference League – in front of a maximum of 39,738 spectators.
Capacity for Hertha clash with Augsburg still open
However, not all ambiguities have been removed with the new regulation. How many spectators will be allowed into the Olympiastadion for Hertha’s upcoming Bundesliga home match against FC Augsburg is still open. The match will take place before the new regulations come into force on 1 December. Hertha had – like Union for the capital derby the previous week – submitted an application for full utilisation of its home stadium under 2G conditions, but also formulated alternative utilisation scenarios in it.