Not all that new, really. But it seems the project is finally about to get built, so it’s about time we presented it to you at StadiumDB.com. Will this be the new 15,000-seater of Heracles Almelo?
Ever since their promotion to the Eredivisie in 2005 Heracles has one problem – insufficient capacity. Though they expanded Polman Stadion from 6,900 to 8,500 already when reaching top tier, it’s still too small. Current attendances are at almost 8,400 per game and have been so for a few years.
But further expansion would prove too expensive and thus not viable. This is why in 2011 a concept for new stadium was presented for the first time. Planned to be placed just meters away from the current one (on training pitches east of the ground), it would hold 15,000 with potential to grow by another 5,000 if need be.
Is this the potential of Heracles? Officials are cautious with estimations. Would it always be sold out? All seems to be going in this direction. Maybe not from the start, but fans remain our power and it’s just a matter of time with the atmosphere we have, said Hans Mol, financial manager at the club.
Just now Heracles disclosed financial details for the last season. The club managed to reach a slight income, but managers aren’t too optimistic. The positive outcome was mostly result of reaching the Dutch Cup final, whilst matchday revenues are still way below expectations. Club estimations say a move to a 15,000-seater would increase annual budget from €8.5m to €15m, similarly to the capacity increase.
When would that be? Initial projections gave early 2012 as construction works commencement, with start of 2013/14 season as opening time. But this fell through despite positive attitude by local authorities. Financing problems and trouble with persuading side pitch users to relocate stood in the way.
Today it seems a lot closer. Though administrative procedures are still ongoing (as far as we know zoning needs to be accepted), funding sounds secure with the city lending €15m and Heracles investing the same amount to close the budget at €30m. In July the club chose their preferred contractors, who are now expected to enter the site in early 2013, to finish by 2014/15 season.
In April news reports said a naming rights deal with club sponsor Ten Cate had been reached. Both the club and sponsor denied this revelation, though not negotiations over potential deal in general.