Hannover 96


Founded in 1896, the first matches were in fact rugby. It wasn't until about 1899 that soccer became dominant. They are one of the more popular clubs in northern Germany, but generally have underachieved. The German championship was won in 1938 and 1954, but the biggest result is probably winning the DFB Cup in 1992. Hannover had had ho-hum results in previous Cups, but the 1992 Cup was a magical run. After knocking out teams like Dortmund, Bochum and Karlsruhe, they defeated Werder Bremen and then Borussia Moenchengladbach on penalties to win everything. With a respectable showing next season against Werder again in the EuroCup, the future looked rosy.

What followed was a surprising collapse, as the club failed to capitalize on it's strength. Instead, exile into the 3rd division. H96 dominated the Regionalliga Nord, scoring over 100 goals both seasons, and winning the title. But the 1st season, they were knocked out by Cottbus in the playoffs, and it wasn't until the next season that they survived.

The 1998-99 season was very good. Hannover got off to a slow start, but got stronger as the season went on. Crowds averaged 20,000, and the team had a slight chance for promotion on the last day. The next season was a bit of a disappointment, as 96 faded down the stretch. However, in 2002, the 96er were not to be denied. Fueled by a brilliant start (some 20 games unbeaten), they coasted home to the 2nd division title and return to the top flight. Since then, they've managed to avoid the drop back down, relying on a stout defense to keep things under control.

2009-10 proved to be a very trying year for the 96ers and their fans. They team got off to a reasonably good start, and then tragedy struck. GK Robert Enke, who had been off on on in the national squad, was apparently going through major depression, unbeknownst to his teammates and club. He ended it all by jumping in front of a train. The whole squad went into shock and collapsed, and the season went down the toilet. They barely avoided relegation, and in the offseason, a complete housecleaning was necessary.

2010 started with uncertainty, but as the season progressed, it was clear that the 96ers were going somewhere. The season ended with an unlikely 4th place, Hannover's highest Bundesliga placing ever.

Fullname Hannoverscher Sportverein von 1896 e.V.
City Hannover (Niedersachsen). Pop: 516,500 (2002)
Address Clausewitz Str. 2, 30175 Hannover
Phone: (0511) 282096 Fax: (0511) 813609
Colors Red shirt, black trim, red shorts. White shirt, green trim, white pants. (Away)
Back in 1910, the local soccer federation ruled that soccer clubs had to play in different colors than their club. Seems insane, but that's bureaucracy for you. As a result, H96 traditionally plays in red-black, although the official club colors are in fact green-white-black.
Stadium Niedersachsenstadion Capacity: 48,933 (21,331 seats)
Now known as the AWD-Arena. Located centrally near the main train station, the Niedersachsen was built in 1954 and had a capacity of over 86,000. It was refurbished in 1974 for the World Cup. Covered seating was expanded to meet DFB requirements, but overall capacity was reduced to 60,000. A slight drawback was that the advertising scoreboard was sourced to save money and had the minor problem of only being in Hungarian. Eventually security measures caused the capacity to shrink to current levels.
Prior to 1954, H96 played in the Radrennbahn, also known as the Eilenriede and Hindenburg-Kampfbahn. This was the original city owned stadium, built in the 1920s. The capcity was usually around 30,000, but auxiliary stands could be brought in doubling space. Today, the capacity is around 18,000.
Nickname Die Roten (The Reds). 96.
Tickets The stadium is large, so tickets will generally not be a problem. Prices range from 11-28 euros, with a 5 euro surcharge for "top" matches. (2004).
Tickets can be ordered online from the official web site.
Supporters Fairly strong, as one of the more popular teams in northern Germany, and a large city to boot. Averaged 23,000 in 2004.
Foes Eintracht Braunschweig is a bitter rival. Other Hannover clubs, such as Arminia and Ricklingen delight in tripping the 96ers. One might expect a rivalry to eventually develop with nearby Wolfsburg.
Heroes As far as well known players, there haven't been too many, which is a bit surprising. 9 German internationals, mostly obscure. The best was probably someone who left: Jupp Heynckes was capped once while playing for 96, but got another 38 caps while playing at Gladbach.
Beer Gilde Pilsener, a Hannover brewery, is a team sponsor and available in the park. (They also sponsor Arminia). Fans like to bring the local Herrenhäuser into the stands.
Pub Grub
The Net Official site: www.hannover96.de
Also worth checking out is the Official Fan Magazine. At one time there was virtually no presence on the net, surprising for such an important club. One of the earliest that survived was was Arne Kloppenburg's www.hannover96online.de . There are now many fan pages. One of the more intriguing is www.rote-erleuchtung.de.vu , which is also planning an English edition.

Recent History:

1963-64	(II)	Regionalliga Nord	2nd
1964-65	(I)	Bundesliga		11th
1965-66	(I)	Bundesliga		11th
1966-67	(I)	Bundesliga		11th
1967-68	(I)	Bundesliga		11th
1968-69	(I)	Bundesliga		11th
1969-70	(I)	Bundesliga		11th
1970-71	(I)	Bundesliga		11th
1971-72	(I)	Bundesliga		11th
1972-73	(I)	Bundesliga		11th
1973-74	(I)	Bundesliga		11th
1974-75	(II)	2.Bundesliga Nord	1st
1975-76	(I)	Bundesliga		18th
1976-77	(II)	2.Bundesliga Nord	5th
1977-78	(II)	2.Bundesliga Nord	5th
1978-79	(II)	2.Bundesliga Nord	15th
1979-80	(II)	2.Bundesliga Nord	3rd
1980-81	(II)	2.Bundesliga Nord	4th
1981-82	(II)	2.Bundesliga 		5th
1982-83	(II)	2.Bundesliga 		5th
1983-84	(II)	2.Bundesliga 		5th
1984-85	(II)	2.Bundesliga 		5th
1985-86	(I)	Bundesliga		18th
1986-87	(II)	2.Bundesliga 		1st
1987-88	(I)	Bundesliga		10th
1988-89	(I)	Bundesliga		18th
1989-90	(II)	2.Bundesliga 		8th
1990-91 (II)	2.Bundesliga		10th
1991-92 (II)	2.Bundesliga-Nord	5th
1992-93 (II)	2.Bundesliga		9th
1993-94 (II)	2.Bundesliga		12th
1994-95 (II)	2.Bundesliga		12th
1995-96	(II)	2.Bundesliga		16th
1996-97	(III)	Regionalliga Nord	1st	lost playoff to Cottbus.
1997-98	(III)	Regionalliga Nord	1st
1998-99	(II)	2.Bundesliga		4th
1999-00	(II)	2.Bundesliga		10th
2000-01	(II)	2.Bundesliga		9th
2001-02	(II)	2.Bundesliga		1st
2002-03	(I)	Bundesliga		11th
2003-04 (I)	Bundesliga		14th
2004-05 (I)	Bundesliga		10th
2005-06 (I)	Bundesliga		12th
2006-07 (I)	Bundesliga		11th
2007-08 (I)     Bundesliga		8th
2008-09 (I)     Bundesliga		11th
2009-10 (I)	Bundesliga		15th
2010-11 (I)     Bundesliga		4th
2011-12 (I)     Bundesliga

(c) Abseits Guide to Germany: www.abseits-soccer.com