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Union Berlin announce €38m plan to take stadium capacity to 37,000

Union Berlin fans will be watching their football in a 37,000-capacity stadium by 2020.

Union Berlin have announced plans to increase the capacity of their Alten Forsterei stadium from 22,012 to around 37,000 by 2020.

The €38 million reconstruction work, due to begin in 2019, will mean the stadium has a standing capacity of 28,692 -- just short of the 29,400 at Borussia Dortmund's Westfalenstadion.

Seating capacity, meanwhile, will be increased to more than 8,000 seats to meet German Football League requirements for top-flight football.

Union want the Alten Forsterei, built in 1920 and set in the woods of Kopenick, a Berlin suburb, to "keep its character and remain unique."

In a statement on the club's official website, president Dirk Zingler said: "It was important to us that this historic place for our club grows to meet future requirements. We want a tight stadium with standing terraces."

The second-tier club narrowly missed out on promotion to the Bundesliga for the first time ever last season, finishing in fourth place.

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.

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