Germany prepares for 2006 WC

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:52 IST

The World Cup finals may still be over a year away, but in Germany preparations have been in full flow for quite some time now.

Germany prepares for 2006 WC
©

Frankfurt:

The World Cup finals may still be over a year away, but in Germany preparations have been in full flow for quite some time now. Twelve cities will be hosting matches during the tournament. In seven of them - Berlin, Dortmund, Hanover, Cologne, Kaiserslautern, Nuremburg and Stuttgart - existing grounds will be updated for the competition. In the other five - Frankfurt, Gelsenkirchen, Hamburg, Leipzig and Munich - completely new stadia have either already been or are in the process of being constructed. The Waldstadion in Frankfurt is being built at a cost of 126 million euros, and will seat just under 50,000 spectators. It is being built on the same site as its previous incarnation, which was erected in the 1920s and renovated for the 1974 World Cup and then again for the 1988 European Championships. Fondly remembered occasions in the history of the 'old' Waldstadion include the Muhammad Ali versus Karl Mildenberger boxing bout in 1966, and the waterlogged semi-final game between Poland and West Germany in 1974. There's no chance of any such problems now, however, with no expense spared in constructing a state-of-the-art stadium. The Waldstadion is one of five venues, which will be given a 'dry-run' for the 2006 World Cup during the forthcoming Confederations Cup, which takes place between the June 15 and 29. (AP)

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