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U.S. Men's National Team Selects Hamburg as Base Camp for 2006 World Cup in Germany

  • Waterfront City of Hamburg Is the Most Northern German Venue
  • U.S. Will Learn Opponents and Venues for 2006 Tournament at Dec. 9 World Cup Draw

CHICAGO (October 12, 2005) — The U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team will use the city of Hamburg as their home base throughout the upcoming 2006 FIFA World Cup being staged in 12 venues in Germany from June 9 to July 9, 2006. The U.S. will learn the venue in which they will play their group matches on December 9, 2005, at the FIFA World Cup Draw in Leipzig, Germany.

Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and the northern most FIFA World Cup venue. It is located at the confluence of the Elbe and Alster Rivers where it serves as Germany’s international trade hub as the second largest port in Europe.

The selection of Hamburg, often referred to as the “Venice of the North,” culminates an inspection process conducted by U.S. Soccer across a 16-month period in which all 12 FIFA World Cup venues were closely examined. In Hamburg, the U.S. MNT will have the benefit of both world-class training facilities and accommodations. The team will also be able to take advantage of the ease of traveling in and out of the city of 1.7 million people with the Hamburg airport being located within a close proximity to the city’s downtown area.

“We looked at a number of venues throughout Germany to base our team,” said U.S. manager Bruce Arena, “and felt Hamburg was clearly the best choice. We had great success in 2002 staging our operations in one location (Seoul, South Korea) and traveling into our venues for games, and we feel that strategy will work for us again in 2006. Regardless of the venues we are eventually drawn into, the excellent transportation infrastructure in Germany allows us the luxury of choosing any city in the country as our base, and clearly Hamburg has as much or more to offer than any city in Germany.”

One of the criteria used in selecting Hamburg as the USA’s home base included the city’s fine selection of first-class hotel accommodations located within a 30-minute drive to the USA’s training ground. That training location is a premium facility with playing surfaces that replicate those in the stadiums being used for the FIFA World Cup. Additionally, the city’s downtown setting will have an atmosphere in which the players and their families can experience the many facets of the World Cup.

Hamburg, whose official city name is the “Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg,” will serve as a World Cup venue for four first-round games and a quarterfinal match. Games will be played at the 45,442 capacity AOL Arena, which opened in 2000 and is home to Bundesliga club Hamburger Sport-Verein (HSV).

The city is situated where the Aster River flows into the larger Elbe River, which flows into the North Sea. The city center is beautifully situated around two artificial lakes, the Aussenalster (Outer Alster) and the Binnenalster (Inner Alster), which are formed by the Alster River as it joins the Elbe.

Contributing to U.S. Soccer’s decision to base their operations in Hamburg, the leadership of the city, through First Mayor Ole von Beust and his entire staff, were very accommodating in showcasing the city, which includes magnificent promenades and cultural activities. The city is also known for its popular nightlife on the famous Reeperbahn and as Germany’s capital of both music and publishing, with numerous magazines and the German press agency (the DPA) calling the city home.


Population: 1.7 million (City of Hamburg), 4.3 million (Greater Hamburg Area)
Stadium: FIFA World Cup Stadium Hamburg
Capacity: 45,442
Major Events Hosted: 1974 World Cup; 1988 European Championships
Bundesliga Club: Hamburger SV (HSV)
3rd Bundesliga Club: FC St. Pauli
Also Known As: “Venice of the North”, “Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg”
Official Slogan: “Hamburg, city of sports – where hospitality wins”
U.S. Sister City: Chicago (since 1994), which is home to the U.S. Soccer Federation's headquarters

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