The stadium was originally known as Niedersachsenstadion (Eng: Lower Saxony Stadium), built between 1952-1954, with an original capacity of 86,000. Huge amounts of debris from the houses inHannover destroyed during World War II were used as the foundations of the stadium, with a total construction cost of 4 million Deutschmark. The stadium officially opened on September 26, 1954.
Hannover 96 moved permanently to the stadium from the Eilenriedestadion in 1959. Other local clubs, such as Arminia Hannover, OSV Hannover, TSV Havelse and Sportfreunde Ricklingen have also played matches there. In addition, the stadium has hosted numerous international matches, 4 (old) league championship games (1955,57,58,61), 2 DFB Supercup finals (1991-92) and 8 DFB Cupfinals (1962,63,65,70,72,75,77,79).
Aside from football, the stadium was also the scene of several German athletics championships, the German Turnfest (a sports festival), field handball finals, rugby and American football.
Since the performance of the Rolling Stones in 1982, the stadium has developed into the leading open air concert venue in Northern Germany. After the stadium underwent extensive revelopment in 2003/04, the open air tradition was revived again with a concert again by the Rolling Stones in the new arena. It has since hosted performers such as Tina Turner, Guns N’ Roses, Madonna, Genesis and Michael Jackson.
Since 2002 it has carried the name of sponsor AWD.