Thursday 18 August 2022

Feyenoord drops plans to build new stadium because of spiralling costs

An artist’s impression of the finished district

Football club Feyenoord has ditched a controversial project to build a new stadium after ten years of deliberations because of spiralling costs, the club’s director has said.

The stadium was to be part of a housing project on the river Maas called Feyenoord City but on Thursday the club announced it had called off the stadium plan and that it will continue to use the Kuip. Plans to renovate that stadium, which dates from 1937, will now not go ahead either.

Feyenoord director Dennis te Kloese said the club did not have enough financial reserves and that the price of building materials had ‘gone through the roof. Mortgage interests rates are also shooting up,’ Smorenburg said at a press conference on Thursday.

Feyenoord had hoped the new stadium would help bring the club into the same financial league as Ajax and PSV but has said it will now ‘fully concentrate on football’.

‘Success on the field is the basis for financial success,’ financial director Pieter Smorenburg said. ‘We are going far in the European competition and that brings better transfer results.’

Feyenoord has made it to the semi-finals of the Conference League but that is much less lucrative than the Champions League which has earned competitor Ajax tens of millions of euros in prize money and transfers.

The decision puts an end to what has been a controversial project from the start. Fans were always against the new stadium which they feared would be too expensive and change the atmosphere of the games.

As yet it is unclear what Feyenoord’s decision means for the rest of the development, which involved a complete upgrade of the riverside area, complete with thousands of homes, offices and shops.

Last November, councillors voted to press ahead with the development despite the delays to the stadium plan. The Council of State also still needs to give its approval.

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