It’s very much the essence of Holland: the stadia aren’t large themselves, but they’re surrounded by entire sports cities. Altogether these added today have 45 practice fields, largest complex is 20!
In our second Twitter poll you selected the Netherlands as the preferred destination to see more stadiums from. China came second again, so you’ll see it in the next poll tomorrow. Be sure to follow us and be up-to-date with all the Twitter feed! For now here are the latest additions from the Netherlands, courtesy of Stephan Hoogerwaard and the Go Ahead Eagles football club.
De Adelaarshorst, Deventer (10,400)
The idea of building a private stadium in eastern Deventer was born after the club won its first Dutch championship in 1917. The ground opened in 1920 and to this day operates in the same location. When Go Ahead dominated the Netherlands for the 4th time in 1933, a new main grandstand was built, designed by prominent local architect Maarten van Harte.
Peak capacity was reached in 1960s, when the ground was officially able to hold 24,000 people. However, regulations forcing individual seating prompted huge changes in 1980s. The ground shrunk to just over 8,000. Interestingly, some of the seats installed at that time came from De Kuip.
The greatest redevelopment to date came in 2015, when in just 3 months the main grandstand and a new south end were erected. Based on modest foundations and primarily metal structures, these rose quickly, but still managed to give the stadium a traditional, almost English touch. And in more pragmatic terms: they allowed the stadium to exceed 10,000 covered seats.
In its history the stadium didn’t only host key domestic and European club games, but also saw the Netherlands smash Iceland 8:1 in 1973, before the team advanced to the 1974 World Cup. The senior national team didn’t play here anymore, but youth sides came on a couple occasions.
Sportpark Elinkwijk, Utrecht (5,000)
While USV Elinkwijk only play on amateur level, the hosts use part of an immense football complex in northern Utrecht. The area consists of 20 full-sized fields with some smaller additions. Main stadium is located on the southern edge of the centre and may hold up to 5,000 people thanks to landfill terracing on three sides. Only the west has a covered and seated grandstand.
De Westmaat “Rode”, Spakenburg (2,550)
Ever seen two similar stadiums literally next to one another? Such a unique situation happened in northern Spakenburg, where the two are just 34m (110 feet) apart. Western one is nicknamed “Rode” (red) and is operated by Ijsselmeervogels. The eastern one, blue (“Blauwe”), has SV Spakenburg as key tenants.
The red stadium has two grandstands along both sides. Northern one is a modest terrace, while the southern side was entirely rebuilt in 2007 and can now hold over 1,000 seated spectators. Overall capacity is 2,550 though the host club argue up to 8,000 people could fit inside if standing room around the field is included.
Sportpark De Hoge Bomen, Naaldwijk (2,000)
Located in the Dutch hub of greenhouse horticulture, this stadium owes its name to tall trees along the avenue where its built. During Westlandia games one might have even considered this remote area a parkland or forest if not for the fact that in reality the entire sports complex is surrounded by greenhouses if anything.
Sportpark Westvliet, Voorburg (1,000)
Regarded as the oldest Dutch town, Voorburg is now part of the Hague and offers one of the region’s more unique sports complexes. While having five football fields (and several smaller optionally) isn’t a novelty in the country, this area also includes an athletics stadium and a cricket field.
The football part is operated by VV Wilhelmus, club specialized in youth training of over 1,200 players. The club serves as affiliate of ADO Den Haag, which is very fitting since its ground lies just across the highway from the city's main football arena.