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. It seemed like Hannover was on it's way to joining the elite of german football, but they quickly fell back into their old form, and dropped from their high position.

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:
2013-14 (I)     Bundesliga		10th
2012-13 (I)     Bundesliga		9th
2011-12 (I)     Bundesliga		7th
2010-11 (I)     Bundesliga              4th

2009-10 (I)     Bundesliga              15th
2008-09 (I)     Bundesliga              11th
2007-08 (I)     Bundesliga              8th
2006-07 (I)     Bundesliga              11th
2005-06 (I)     Bundesliga              12th
2004-05 (I)     Bundesliga              10th
2003-04 (I)     Bundesliga              14th
2002-03 (I)     Bundesliga              11th
2001-02 (II)    2.Liga	            	1st 
2000-01 (II)    2.Liga            	9th 

1999-00 (II)    2.Liga            	10th
1998-99 (II)    2.Liga            	4th
1997-98 (III)   Regionalliga Nord       1st 
1996-97 (III)   Regionalliga Nord       1st     lost playoff to Cottbus.
1995-96 (II)    2.Liga            	16th
1994-95 (II)    2.Liga            	12th
1993-94 (II)    2.Liga            	12th
1992-93 (II)    2.Liga            	9th 
1991-92 (II)    2.Liga-Nord       	5th 
1990-91 (II)    2.Liga            	10th

1989-90 (II)    2.Liga            	8th 
1988-89 (I)     Bundesliga              18th
1987-88 (I)     Bundesliga              10th
1986-87 (II)    2.Liga            	1st
1985-86 (I)     Bundesliga              18th
1984-85 (II)    2.Liga            	5th
1983-84 (II)    2.Liga            	5th
1982-83 (II)    2.Liga            	5th
1981-82 (II)    2.Liga            	5th
1980-81 (II)    2.Liga Nord       	4th

1979-80 (II)    2.Liga Nord       	3rd 
1978-79 (II)    2.Liga Nord       	15th
1977-78 (II)    2.Liga Nord       	5th 
1976-77 (II)    2.Liga Nord       	5th 
1975-76 (I)     Bundesliga              18th
1974-75 (II)    2.Liga Nord       	1st 
1973-74 (I)     Bundesliga              18th
1972-73 (I)     Bundesliga              16th
1971-72 (I)     Bundesliga              16th
1970-71 (I)     Bundesliga              9th

1969-70	(I)	Bundesliga		13th
1968-69 (I)     Bundesliga              11th
1967-68 (I)     Bundesliga              10th
1966-67 (I)     Bundesliga              9th
1965-66 (I)     Bundesliga              12th
1964-65 (I)     Bundesliga              5th
1963-64 (II)    Regionalliga Nord       2nd

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