The mega truss is still sleeping on the ground, waiting to be lifted into place. It's uncertain whether the new cover would be ready by end of season. But along comes a new render and further details confirming our off-the-record information.
We haven't kept you up to date on the reconstruction of AFAS Stadion in Alkmaar recently, so let's make up for it. The project (or, rather, the 2019 disaster) may have changed building safety nationwide, with new procedures of safety evaluation possibly being introduced.
The lesson is particularly important for AZ Alkmaar as the roof's collapse would have been disastrous if it happened during a game. Fans need to be reassured that the replacing structure will not pose such a risk. As we're learning, this may be why the primary truss still hasn't been lifted into place.
The structure, assembled in front of the main stand, has been ready for many weeks now but still hasn't been lifted. Off the record, the delay was caused by extra precautions that the mega truss will be safe. Additional calculations led to changes in the connecting segments on both ends of the arch. Now, new columns (on which the 170-metre truss will rest) are almost ready and the big lift is expected within a month or so.
Photo from November, currently both main stand corners have their respective columns. © AZ Alkmaar
Meanwhile, along the other three stands a white crown of the future roof is nearly complete. Seemingly all that's missing is the internal girders above the auditorium. When will the roof be ready? General manager Robert Eenhoorn has hinted in the annual New Year interview that spring is the anticipated deadline.
To be honest, we had hoped to have progressed more. Now we are slightly behind schedule and in the background we are working hard to ensure that the momentum is growing, so that our fans will be under one roof at the end of this season, when they are welcome again. Eenhoorn said. Of course, currently crowds cannot gather inside stadiums across the country but it's hoped that byApril or May this would change.
Updated rendering shows new details
Along with the interview, AZ Alkmaar have published an updated rendering. At first glance it might seem exactly as the previous one from 2020 but we're not here to leave you with our first glance, are we?
There are three major differences between the two images:
First, both western corners are likely to get new towers within the new roof columns. We expect these to boost crowd circulation with staircases and elevators, possibly also minor floor spaces.
Second, a new public concourse will be built along the three lower stands, as we expected before. Not on ground level, rather lifted onto the second floor, the concourse will include new toilets and kiosks. It's expected to increase both the fans' comfort and – as Eenhorn stated in the interview – matchday revenue.
Third, stands are to be aligned with the field. This means removing the existing 'moat' (an obvious move with crowd flow shifted to the new concourse) and creating further rows closer to the field. These are expected to come along with additional rows in the upper sections (particularly in the corners). Keep in mind, though, this doesn't automatically mean a capacity increase, that one depends on the city of Alkmaar's approval.
Authors: Michał Karaś / Marc