Stadion Feijenoord or De Kuip (the tub) as it is more commonly known has been around for 77 years. In 1935, club president Leen Van Zandvliet wanted to build a stadium unlike anything that could be found in mainland Europe. He wanted it to be built out of glass, steel and concrete which it was. Many well known footballing clubs such as Barcelona when building their own stadiums such as the Nou Camp, used the Stadion Feijenoord as a blueprint writes Andries Oosterveen.
The stadium has since its construction in 1937 has seen it’s capacity change. Its original capacity was 64,000. That was increased to 69,000 and then in 1994 after a renovation the capacity was reduced to it’s current figure of 51,117.
But what makes De Kuip special, unique and unlike any other stadium in Holland?
Besides the atmosphere, for many years UEFA have recognized that De Kuip is the finest stadium in Holland. As a result, a five star status was awarded to the stadium which means it fulfills the highest quality criteria of UEFA. No other stadium in Holland has held eleven European finals like De Kuip has with more recent important deciders being the final of the 2000 European Championships and the final of the 2002 UEFA Cup in which Feyenoord beat Borussia Dortmund.
It is clear that the stadium has an iconic place in Dutch footballing history which is cemented even further in that the final of the KNVB Cup is traditionally held there each year.
The Dutch national teams players are often asked time and time again which stadium in Holland would they prefer to play their home games at. The answer is always the same – De Kuip. This temple has consistently and traditionally provided the best playing pitch in the country and is absolutely brimming with history too.
What about the future of De Kuip?
It has been clear that since 2006 De Kuip has needed modernizing and the facilities for supporters needed improving. The big stumbling blocks have been the support of the fans, finance and whether to build a completely new stadium or improve on the current one. Despite that, if you were to put your money on any club being able to fill a stadium time and time again it would be on Feyenoord.
The latest news, at the time of writing, is of a 70,000 all seater stadium for the new “De Nieuwe Kuip” stadium. The idea is to blend the existing buildings with new ones. A high-tech membrane roof would enable the stadium to be covered. The outside of the stadium would consist of a “smart skin” comprising of LED lighting with moving images. Construction work would take place during the season and would allow Feyenoord to continue playing there during the construction phrase. Building would be due to commence in 2015 and finish in 2017.
Here is hoping that in the next six months the FFC (Feyenoord Founders Consortium) along with Stichting 1 will deliver what will be Hollands biggest stadium and a home fit for the the country’s best fans whilst at the same time ensuring that the new stadium does not lose the soul and magic that the original De Kuip had but that it continues along with more dreams and more special memories.