- Address: Robert-Enke-Straße 1, Hanover
- Country: Germany
- Capacity: 49,000
- Opened: 26 September 1954
- Main use: Football
- Tenants: Hannover 96 (football)
Extra stadium info – HDI-Arena
The venue was known as the Niedersachsenstadion between 1954 and 2002. Between 2002 and 2013, it was known as the AWD-Arena. The HDI Arena hosted several FIFA World Cup matches. On 15 June 1974, the stadium hosted its first-ever FIFA World Cup match. The national football team of the Netherlands won the game after beating the inaugural FIFA World Cup winners Uruguay. 53,000 people attended the game. The second FIFA World Cup game at the HDI-Arena was a 1-1 draw between Bulgaria and Uruguay. The national football team of Brazil won the third and fourth game of the tournament at the venue. They defeated the former German Democratic Republic and the Argentine Republic.
European football championship matches and the 2006 FIFA World Cup
In 1988, 60,000 people showed up for the first-ever European football championship match at the HDI-Arena. The national football team of Spain won the game against Denmark. The second game of the tournament at the venue ended in a 1-1 draw between Ireland and the USSR. The USSR reached the final of the tournament, which was won by the Netherlands. The stadium hosted five games for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Angola, Costa Rica, the French Republic, Ghana, the Italian Republic, Korea, Poland and the United Mexican States played in those games. All five games were played in front of a capacity crowd of 43,000. The match between the French Republic and Spain was the only game in the knockout phase of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Hannover 96 use the HDI-Arena for home games. The football club, one of the first sports clubs from Lower Saxony with 100,000 followers on its main social media page, was founded in 1896. They were crowned German football champions in 1938 for the first time in their history. Hannover 96 won the title after beating FC Schalke 04 from Gelsenkirchen. In 1992, they won the German cup tournament for the first time in their history after beating Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Robert Enke played for Hannover 96 between 2004 and 2009. He played several matches as a goalkeeper for the national football team of Germany. On 10 November 2009, Robert Enke committed suicide at the age of 32 when he stood in front of a regional express train. After the death of his daughter Lara in 2006, he struggled to cope with the loss. Many fans immediately moved to the home of Hannover 96 to lay flowers, light candles and sign the book of condolences.