Fresh lease pact new ‘lease’ on life for NAC

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Starting from politicians of Breda (Netherlands) to alderman Paul de Beer (D66), who is in charge of the Dutch professional club NAC Breda, all have played a pivotal role in bringing about a new lease agreement between the City and the club. The lease agreement was a sticky issue between the City and NAC Breda for years now.

‘BNDeStem’ stated that the municipality who owns the NAC Breda home – Rat Verlegh Stadium since 2003 – will take over the private boxes of the venue to commercialize them and as per the new lease agreement, the lease will be extended annually and no longer than until 2035. Earlier, the club had to pay €690,000 ($814,000) annually, the new lease pact will see the number down to €650,000 ($766,000). Due to the coronavirus clobber, NAC does not have to pay capital costs for six months.

NAC Breda, often simply known as NAC, is a Dutch professional football club based in Breda, Netherlands. NAC Breda’s residence is the Rat Verlegh Stadium and they play in the Eerste Divisie – second-highest tier of football in the Netherlands.

The 19,000-capacity Rat Verlegh Stadium is a multipurpose stadium in Breda, Netherlands. The stadium is the home of the association football club NAC Breda.

The NAC wants to move to a new venue as the Rat Verlegh Stadium is now 25 years old and no longer fits into the definition of a futuristic arena. The club dreams of playing in an avant-garde arena within 10 years and plans to build it on the site where their present digs stands.

‘BNDeStem’ further stated that what emanated from the council meeting held recently is that the municipality does not want to let go of the Rat Verlegh Stadium though the club is mulling on selling the same. The various persons present in the meeting reminisced how in mid-2019 the NAC renounced the ‘exclusive right’ to buy back (part of) the stadium (5.5 million euros).

‘Millstone around our necks’

Manon Stevens of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) asserted, “The VVD believes that the municipality should not own the stadium, however, it is nice to know that the sticky issues between the municipality and the club going on for long has been resolved.”

The VVD is a Centre-Right conservative-liberal political party in the Netherlands.

Jeroen Bruijns of Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) observed, “The new lease agreement is welcomed. But the stadium is still hanging around our necks like a millstone. I fully agree with the proposal of the Managing Director of NAC Mattijs Manders to build a new facility in lieu of the present structure. That would be the best solution for all.”

Tim van het Hof of D66 – social liberal political party in the Netherlands – observed, “We are very positive about the new lease agreement. The deal is something which was long required. I do not know to what extent the municipality should be involved in the construction of a new stadium project or should be part of a project group that Manders wants to set up. I would call for professional distancing.”

Arjen van Drunen of Labour Party (PvdA) put in, “The sale of the stadium is option A, a new lease contract option B. We are entering into the lease until 2035, we assume that no new stadium will come up before that.”

For now, van Drunen wants to focus on the new talent center to be built on Terheijdenseweg (Breda, Netherlands) and a training facility to come up in the stadium precincts.

Word of caution

Bas Maes of the Socialist Party (SP) warned, “We will have our backs to the wall if the rent cannot be paid.”

On the NAC plans to build a new stadium, Maes stated, “The municipality should not be a partner if a new arena is built. That is unacceptable.”

Alderman Beer indicated that due to the grave COVID-19 situation the world over, the municipality had no room to partake of in a “new stadium project. Later, the municipal authorities could provide their inputs on spatial matters.”

The alderman refused to comment on matters of investment if at all a new venue comes up.

SP is a Left-wing, democratic socialist political party in the Netherlands.

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