Elegance and aesthetic appeal: the erstwhile Niedersachsenstadion nestles perfectly into the landscape. With earthworks banked up alongside the West Stand, this edifice blends into the meadow landscape while eastwards its slender silhouette tapers towards Maschsee, an artificial lake on the south side of Hanover. The stadium played host to several matches in the football World Cup back in 1974, but was desperately in need of a general facelift for the 2006 tournament. The contract was awarded to the BAM Group on condition that there would be no disruptions to normal stadium activities. The pitch was first of all extended up to the West Stand, then the other stands followed in successive construction phases. The result was a football and event arena with room for 50,000 spectators.
The pièce de résistance was the roof, a stretched spoke structure. Like a buckled bicycle wheel rim into which a second inner ring is inserted, it extends around the stadium’s asymmetrical bowl, held in place by steel cables. The East Stand was completely rebuilt to include a VIP lounge, modern press centre and team rooms. The HDI Arena, as it is known today, was thus optimally equipped to stage four group games and a quarter-final in the 2006 World Cup.