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UEFA.com takes a look behind the scenes as the Hamburg Arena prepares to host the inaugural UEFA Europa League showpiece between Club Atlético de Madrid and Fulham FC on Wednesday. Click above to watch.
Record attendance: 77,500 (2-1 v BV Borussia Dortmund on 10.06.1956)
Pitch size: 105m x 68m
• The Hamburg Arena stands on the site of two previous stadia in the city, the first of them the Bahrenfelder Stadium which opened in 1925.
• The venue was rebuilt between 1951 and 1953 to become the Volksparkstadion, with many of the building materials coming from the ruins of Eimsbuttel, a Hamburg district ravaged by bombing during the Second World War.
• The 'People's Park' hosted games at the 1974 FIFA World Cup finals and the 1988 UEFA European Championship but was showing its age by the 1990s, when it was decided to demolish it and start again.
• Work began in 1998, with the whole stadium rotated 90 degrees to take full advantage of natural light, while the athletics facilities were abandoned to bring the stands closer to the pitch.
• A concert venue as well as a football stadium, the new arena hosted five games at the 2006 World Cup finals, including eventual winners Italy's 3-0 quarter-final success against Ukraine.
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