Feyenoord’s De Kuip Stadium to become Holland’s biggest stadium with capacity increased to 70,000
Rotterdam giants Feyenoord, one of the traditional top teams in the Netherlands, have announced plans to redevelop their De Kuip stadium, which will see the ground’s capacity increased by nearly 20,000 seats.
De Kuip (meaning ‘The Tub’ in Dutch), officially called Stadion Feijenoord, was completed in 1937 in the city of Rotterdam. The club and the stadium, both derive their name from the area ‘Feijenoord’ in Rotterdam. The club’s name was internationalised to Feyenoord in 1973. The stadium’s original capacity was 64,000. In 1949 it was expanded to 69,000, and in 1994 it was renovated again with a capacity of 51,177.
The current plans for huge renovation will see De Kuip leapfrog Ajax’s Amsterdam Arena to become Holland’s biggest stadium. In an announcement made recently in the club’s official website, Feyenoord revealed the redevelopment plans of De Kuip ‘into a state-of-the-art stadium with around 70,000 seats, some 90 business units, around 6,300 business seats with all modern facilities before, during and after matches and a host of possibilities for use on non-match days’.
Media reports suggest that construction is planned to start in summer 2015, and to finish in 2018 with total costs of an estimated €200 million. The renovation will see the stadium’s second tier extended, as opposed to an alternative proposal that would have seen a third tier added. In addition to that, the club has set aside a budget of €16 million in order to develop new training facilities.
The redevelopment of De Kuip was worked out after Feyenoord’s initial plan to build a new stadium was rejected last year. It has been reported that the Rotterdam Council had expressed doubt over the €300 million project and decided against the proposal.
Besides being the home stadium of Feyenoord, De Kuip has also long been one of the home grounds of the Dutch national team. The stadium has hosted over 150 international matches, with the first one being a match against Belgium on May 2, 1937.
In 1963 De Kuip staged the final of the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, with Tottenham Hotspur becoming the first British club to win a European trophy – beating Atlético Madrid 5-1. A record ten European finals have taken place in De Kuip, the last one being the 2002 UEFA Cup Final in which Feyenoord, coincidentally playing a home match, defeated Borussia Dortmund 3–2. In 2000, the stadium hosted the final of Euro 2000, played in the Netherlands and Belgium, where France defeated Italy 2–1 in extra time.
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