The saga has been going on for a decade already, but still no final resolution is known. The city outside of Eindhoven is still deadlocked between enthusiasts and critics of the proposed venue.
Private consortium offered to build a new stadium for Helmond, one with single-tiered stands and green, ecological roof. But most importantly, or most controversially, with an extensive retail complex. The new venue would be located at a highway hub, near Berkendonk lake, popular leisure destination.
The scheme has already been rejected by the city council some time ago, but talks between the municipality and investors went on as no agreement was found among the most important council parties.
Critics see a threat in the commercial development, which might threat local entrepreneurs. They think that local club Helmond Sport should stay at De Braak, a small stadium north of the centre, surrounded by a training complex. Meanwhile enthusiasts emphasize that current stadium no longer meets the expectations and a new venue built with private funding is a worthy chance.
This difference of opinions led to yesterday’s debate of the councilors. It wasn’t supposed to give answers on the project, but show what opinions dominate among councilors. It is now expected that a conclusion on the project’s feasibility will be announced on June 25, after one more thorough review of the suggested stadium.