30.01.2007 13:08

Gerhard Hanappi Stadium

Gerhard Hanappi-StadiumKeisslergasse 6A-1140 ViennaSeats: 17,500Journey: U4, S1, S3, S45, S50, Westbahn, SB 49, regional bus linesJourney plan: hereStadium HistoryThe Gerhard Hanappi Stadion, located to the west of Vienna’s city centre, was opened on 10th May 1977 under the name ‘Weststadion’ with a match against FK Magna. The stadium was the successor to the legendary ‘Pfarrwiese’. The stadium construction project was handed to the long-serving and commendable Rapid captain Gerhard Hanappi, who had moved into the field of architecture following his career as a professional footballer. A few years later and Hanappi had planned Rapid’s new home with a capacity of 19,600 by order of the city of Vienna. It was a classic stadium, which still to this day is home to a unique atmosphere thanks to the wonderful fans that pack in match after match. The Weststadion was renamed the Hanappi Stadion following the death of Hanappi in 1980 from lymphoma. Name: Dipl.Ing. Gerhard Hanappi(16.2.29 - 23.8.80)Nationality:AustriaPosition:Midfielder/StrikerHonors at Rapid:7 x Austrian League Champion , Austrian Cup Winner, European Cup semi finalist, Zentropa Cup Winner, Mitropa Cup Runner-Up and 3 x "Footballer of the YearRevitalisation Between 2001 and 2003 numerous construction projects were carried out on the stadium and the training ground, meaning Rapid were forced to play a number of home games at the Ernst Happel Stadion. The revitalization of the stadium encompassed roofs for all four stands, new speaker and lighting systems, lowering the fences in front of the North and South stands, adding an additional training pitch, a garage with approximately 400 spaces and cloakroom facilities for the youth players. The Gerhard Hanappi Stadion was reopened in time for the 231st Vienna derby on 27th October 2002. Since then, the stadium has offered seats for 17,500 fans – more tickets may not be sold for security reasons. The Rapid faithful, who subscribe to the saying “Rapid is our religion”, have dubbed the stadium “Saint Hanappi” – an expression that was coined by then Rapid manager Josef Hickersberger in the 2004/2005 title-winning season, during which Rapid remained unbeaten.  Following the works in 2003, Rapid have been dedicated to working on other projects to improve the stadium and training facilities further. As a result, under-soil heating, a surveillance system, two new VIP clubs for 200 guests, a 25m2 video wall, fitness and physiotherapy rooms as well as the option of an artificial surface have all been added.