In today’s episode of “Ballparks Around the World,” we pay attention to Hoesch Park, home of the Dortmund Wanderers.
The ballpark of the Dortmund Wanderers is beautifully located in Hoesch Park in the Northern part of Dortmund. The history of the park dates back to the end of the nineteenth century when a count bought the area and created a farm house. Shortly after World War I, the Hoesch company bought the area and the CEO of the company used the farm house as a second home. A tennis court and an equestrian area were created. The farmhouse is still there, located behind right-center field. During the Nazi days, the company came up with a plan to create a sports complex for its workers. Due to lack of manual workers, the German Workers Front, a Nazi organization, took care of the construction. The stadium was created after several Nazi marching areas where Nazi gatherings were held.
In 1998, Thyssen-Krupp Stahl AG bought the Hoesch company and became the owner of the facility automatically. Eventually, in 2004, the park was sold to the city of Dortmund for two million Euros. Nowadays, the maintenance of the park is done by Sportwelt Dortmund GmbH (Sports World Dortmund Ltd).
In 2006, a makeover of the park was finished. Next to the track and field stadium there is another field which is home to the local American Football club as well. The former Nazi stadium got a new purpose as it was turned into a baseball stadium as brand new dugouts were created and it became the home of the 1. Bundesliga club Dortmund Wanderers. One year later, the ballpark got a brand new lighting system in order to attract international games.
The playing surface is about 1,5 – 2 meters below the stands, so the spectators have a good view. As written above, the ballpark is surrounded by the lush of the park. There is a concourse that surrounds the ballpark completely, so from all sides you have a good view on the playing field.
The dimensions of the ballpark are somewhat quirky as you can see on the photos below:
Despite the somewhat questionable history of the park, Hoesch Park is part of the landmark list of the city of Dortmund.
The one day, yours truly visited the ballpark, the admission was free.
Here are some impressions of the ballpark.